London 2012: Dutch too much for Great Britain
Team GB 2 Netherlands 9
Team GB will play for a bronze medal against Australia on Saturday afternoon, following a bruising defeat at the hands of Holland in tonight’s semi-final.
The Netherlands, who progressed from Group B with a 100 per cent record, completely outclassed their hosts from the first whistle to breeze into the gold medal match.
Meanwhile, Jason Lee will have his work cut out to ensure his men are refocused as they attempt to win a first men’s Olympic hockey medal for 24 years.
Roderick Weusthof opened the scoring when he blasted a penalty corner into the net on nine minutes.
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And Weusthof doubled the advantage soon afterwards with another powerful effort that snuck through the legs of keeper James Fair.
GB barely had a sniff at goal in the match, but from their solitary penalty corner of the first half found a lifeline as Ashley Jackson scored.
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Any hope of a comeback to rival that seen at the Riverbank Arena against Australia in Sunday’s 3-3 draw was extinguished less than four minutes later as Mink van der Weerden netted a penalty corner.
Billy Bakker opened his account for the evening before the hooter, finishing off a slick team move with the GB defence left flat-footed.
There was no let up after the break, as the Netherlands – surely gold medal favourites when they take on Germany on Saturday night – struck five more goals to rack up the biggest victory of the entire men’s competition.
Team GB’s defence held out for almost nine minutes, while the attackers tried desperately to create opportunities at the other end.
But they were hit by an Orange tornado as four Dutch goals in six sensational minutes left the hosts stunned.
Bakker netted twice to complete his hat-trick, Teun de Nooijer tapped in from close range and Floris Evers rounded keeper Fair and chipped into the empty net.
With the outcome no longer in doubt the Netherlands played with fine fluency and Weusthof completed his hat-trick with a fierce strike that flew into the top corner.
A close range finish from Surbiton’s Rob Moore on 65 minutes gave the home supporters something to cheer at last.
But the night belonged to the Netherlands and GB seemingly face an uphill task now if they are to beat old foes Australia in the bronze medal play-off.