The Netherlands produced a clinical performance to beat India and claim the inaugural title as the women’s tournament at the FIH Hockey5s World Cup came to an end in Muscat, Oman on Saturday.
In doing so the seemingly invincible Oranje added yet another trophy to their incredible collection which includes Olympic gold, world senior and junior titles, Indoor World Cup gold and the FIH Hockey Pro League title.
Earlier in the day, Poland secured the bronze medal with a victory over South Africa while in the newly introduced Challenger Trophy, for the teams that didn’t make it through to the quarter-finals, it was the USA who prevailed to claim the title by defeating Namibia.
Here is how the final pulsating day of action went down…
A devastating first-half performance made all the difference for the Netherlands in their 7-2 victory over India in the final. The Dutch took the field without Noor de Baat, their captain and eventual player of the tournament, whose knee injury in the semi-final ruled her out of the final, but this only seemed to serve as extra motivation for her team. They scored early goals for the first time in the tournament, surging to a 2-0 lead in just four minutes and going into the break 6-0 up. India were much better in the second half and won that period 2-1, but there was simply no coming back from the earlier damage. Bente van der Veldt scored two of the Netherlands’ seven goals in the final to take her personal tally to 15, the second highest of the tournament.
Janneke van de Venne took a moment to reflect on the Dutch success: “We feel great as a team, we worked hard for this and we’re very proud that we did it today. It was such a tough journey but proud that we are here now. It’s really nice to play against all these countries, you play against countries you never play, so it’s really great to do this and to participate at the World [Cup].”
In the bronze medal match, Poland impressed with their good structure to claim a 4-2 win against South Africa, who seemed to have run out of ideas and energy. Amelia Katerla scored all four goals for Poland and was ecstatic with their third-place finish at the tournament: “Great, that was our goal so we did it, we won it, so we are very happy. It is a huge success because we are more focused on hockey 5s and indoor at this moment, and it’s a small group which is participating in hockey anyway so it’s difficult for us to promote for example to Olympic Games or the bigger tournaments, that’s why these tournaments mean a lot to us.”
Uruguay put in a devastating second half to run away 8-4 winners against Malaysia in the 5th-place playoff. The match got off to a blistering start, Uruguay going 2-0 up inside three minutes, Malaysia drawing level three minutes later, and the South Americans reclaiming the lead to go into the break leading 3-2. Teresa Viana put Malaysia to the sword in the second half, bagging six goals in the match and finishing the tournament as the top scorer with 19 in total.
Ukraine were too good in their comfortable 6-0 win over New Zealand for 7th place, Karyna Leonova picking up another four goals to end the tournament with 10.
The USA were completely dominant in the Challenger Trophy playoff for 9th place, but they only managed a 2-0 victory due to yet another goalkeeping masterclass from Namibia’s excellent Petro Stoffberg.
Abigail Burnett reflected on the USA’s performance at the World Cup: “I’m really excited that we won, it shows our determination as a team and our energy to keep fighting. We had a really hard pool, but I think we fought through it and I think back home it shows that we can compete here and that, even though we’re playing for the Challenger Trophy instead of the big trophy, we still worked hard.”
Australia secured 11th place with an 8-3 win over Fiji with Madeline Dooley completing a hat-trick while Thailand claimed 13th spot with a 5-3 win over Paraguay.
Carol Nakombe chalked up an impressive six goals and Loveness Mudenda added a hat-trick as Zambia crushed hosts Oman 11-3 to secure 15th spot.
Gold medallists: NETHERLANDS
Silver medallists: INDIA
Bronze medallists: POLAND
Runners-up of the Women’s Challenger Trophy: NAMIBIA
Winners of the Women’s Challenger Trophy: USA
Best Goalkeeper: Marta Kucharska (POL)
Best Junior Player: Deepika Soreng (IND)
Top Scorer (19): Teresa Viana (URU)
Best Player: Noor De Baat (NED)
FIH Hockey5s World Cup, Oman – 27 January
Result: Match 41 (W)
Zambia 11 – 3 Oman
Result: Match 42 (W)
Thailand 5 – 3 Paraguay
Result: Match 43 (W)
Fiji 3 – 8 Australia
Result: Match 44 (W)
Namibia 0 – 2 USA
Result: Match 45 (W)
Ukraine 6 – 0 New Zealand
Result: Match 46 (W)
Uruguay 8 – 4 Malaysia
Result: Match 47 (W)
Poland 4 – 2 South Africa
Result: Match 48 (W)
Netherlands 7 – 2 India
- South Africa,
- New Zealand,
- United States,