FIH Pro League: Netherlands 1 Great Britain 3
PUBLISHED: 18:12 02 June 2019 | UPDATED: 18:12 02 June 2019
Great Britain's men jumped from fifth to third in the FIH Pro League with an impressive victory over the Netherlands in Eindhoven on Sunday as Michael Hoare won his 150th international cap.
Both sides got on the scoresheet inside the opening 15 minutes in what was a high intensity first half with chances aplenty, with Hampstead & Westminster's Will Calnan striking first for Great Britain before Mink van der Weerden replied immediately after.
But second-half goals from Sam Ward and Chris Griffiths within a minute of each other were enough to earn the three points for a Great Britain side looking to secure a top four finish.
Great Britain started off on the front foot, Zach Wallace testing Pirmin Blaak in goal before a series of penalty corners were well defended by the Dutch side.
Their early dominance was made to tell as Calnan superbly slotted the ball past the keeper at the near post with a well struck reverse stick shot from a tight angle.
Just two minutes later and the Netherlands replied with one of their own, van der Weerden stroking the ball high into the net from a corner.
With only a few minutes remaining of an action packed first half, Wallace brilliantly flashed the ball across the face of goal, however Chris Griffiths could only shoot wide from close range.
Bjorn Kellerman had the final clear-cut chance of the half but blazed over when through on goal.
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The Dutch then wasted another clear chance in the following quarter, Mirco Pruijser striking the inside of the post when he looked certain to score with only George Pinner in goal to beat.
Ward wasn't to miss when presented with an open net though as he slid the ball home after Adam Dixon rolled the ball into the D from the byline as Great Britain regained the lead with a stunning team goal.
The lead was extended in the first minute of the final quarter, with Griffiths firing an unstoppable rocket into the top corner with a reverse stick shot to put GB 3-1 up.
Now two goals to the good, Great Britain looked assured for the remainder of the match, though the Dutch had two penalty corners in the final couple of minutes, the visitors never looked in danger of losing their lead and will go into Thursday's home clash against Germany full of confidence.
fter winning his 150th international cap, Hoare said: "I thought it was a really good performance today in warm conditions that were pretty tough for both teams. We started the game really well and they then came back into it.
"We really controlled the second half though, some of the lads in the second half individually were class. Defensively we were excellent today which was a real focus following the Belgium game.
"I'm absolutely delighted to get my 150th cap today. It's been a difficult couple of years being in and out with injury. But I feel I'm getting back to close to my best now."
Great Britain: Gibson (GK), Ames, Weir, Martin, Griffiths, Hoare, Ward, Roper, Dixon (C), Calnan, Wallace. Subs: Pinner, Sloan, Creed, Condon, Waller, Gall, Sorsby.