Ireland v The Netherlands Post Match Report
Another big thank you to our superfan correspondent, @RuthyMcDonagh, for our post-match report after Ireland’s women’s hockey team’s game in Tokyo!
It was the second meeting in so many months for Ireland against the world’s number one side The Netherlands. It was always going to be a big ask to pull a result against a formidable Dutch side. The Netherlands applied pressure from the whistle but good defense work from Ireland kept them out until Felice Albers received a tidy pass from Pheninckx and slipped it past Ayeisha McFerran on her reverse.
The Dutch continued to attack in waves, a notable goal-line save by Lena Tice kept Ireland in the mix, and Dutch superstar Frederique Matla miss-shoots just before the end of quarter one. Quarter two started a little late on the TV to see Ireland having put the ball in the back of the net through Deirdre Duke, however as we switched on the goal was denied but not clarity on what happened. Ireland started to see more ball in the second quarter though couldn’t make much of it against the world-class Ditch side. It was the 20th minute before The Netherlands were awarded their first penalty corner but a superb stick save from McFerran kept them at bay yet again. The Irish defense line of McCay, McAuley, McLoughlin, Tice, and Upton were kept busy as the Dutch continued to apply pressure. Another PC was awarded but Ireland referred for the ball not traveling 5 meters before entering the circle, but it was found to have travelled 5 and the PC stands, with Ireland losing their referral. No joy again for The Netherlands and the 2nd quarter ends with The Green Army still just 1-0 down.
The third quarter starts with both sides receiving a green card and playing out 2 minutes with 10 each on the pitch. Three more PCs for The Netherlands, but between miss-traps and some excellent defending, Ireland continued to hold out. Another couple of PCs go to the Dutch but their usual form with the set-piece was unfounded and Ireland resilient defending sees the 3rd quarter ending still at 0-1.
Going into the 4th quarter just down by one had me on the edge of my seat, could Ireland close this out as is and record an excellent result against The Netherlands? It wasn’t to be as The Netherlands win their 8th corner and on the 49th minute Phenincks scores on the rebound after an initial save by McFerran. Leurink scores shortly after flicking over McFerran on her backhand following some silky skills from de Waard. It was 3-0 to the Dutch. A few minutes later and Matla is on the scoreboard again with a miscued drag-flick that sent McFerran the wrong way. The match ended 0-4 to The Netherlands but Ireland can be proud of their resilience in defense against constant pressure throughout the match from the Dutch.
A short 48 hour turnaround time for Ireland when they meet world number 3, Germany, at 4.15am (Irish Time) on Wednesday. Germany beat Great Britain 2-1 on Sunday and will meet India later today.