20th June 2016, Brussels: After 2 days of play at the Women’s Champions Trophy it is The Netherlands who sit at the top of the Pool.
Day 1 and it was The Netherlands that were the only team to record a victory on the opening day of the Women’s Hockey Champions Trophy 2016, with team captain Maartje Paumen proving herself to be the star of the show with four goals as her team claimed a 6-2 win over New Zealand at the Lee Valley Hockey Hockey & Tennis Centre in London.
“6-2 against New Zealand is a pretty good start to the tournament, so I am really happy”, said Netherlands captain Paumen. “New Zealand are really good, strong, fast players. They are a really good opponents and we had to bring out our best today to win this game.”
The second European team on show was GB and Helen Richardson-Walsh scored twice as the host nation Great Britain (FIH Hero World Ranking: 6) started their Women’s Hockey Champions Trophy 2016 campaign with a hard earned draw against reigning champions Argentina (WR: 2) in the second match of the day in London.
The home favourites were cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd that enjoyed every minute of the action at the Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, and their support was rewarded with a solid display as GB battled to a deserved draw against Las Leonas.
Argentina were the first team to make a mark on the scoreboard when Maria Granatto put her side ahead in the seventh minutes to quieten the home supporters, but they were soon back in full voice when Helen Richardson-Walsh netted her first. A brilliant penalty corner drag-flick from Carla Rebecchi found the top right corner to put Argentina back in front early in the fourth quarter, with Helen Richardson-Walsh completing the scoring six minutes from time by finishing off a fine pass from Sam Quek.
“Helen is a magician in the circle – I hate marking her in training, so I wouldn’t like to do it in an international match”, said Great Britain captain Kate Richardson-Walsh after the game. “She’s always in the right place at the right time, and she’s got an eye for the goal, so whether she’s playing in midfield or in the forward line as she was today, she’s lethal.”
Day 2 saw the Europeans clash and it was The Netherlands who came out on top with a 2-0 against European rivals Great Britain to the disappointment of a huge home crowd at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.
The Netherlands showed why they are the world’s number one team as they battled their way to a 2-0 win against hosts Great Britain in front of a bumper crowd at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.
Goals from two penalty corners, Lidewij Welten after 17 minutes and captain Maartje Paumen in the 53rd minute, were enough to see off Team GB, but it wasn’t easy for the World and Olympic champions.
Whilst GB goalkeeper Maddie Hinch made a number of outstanding saves, Dutch keeper Joyce Sombroek showed why she was voted FIH Hockey Stars Goalkeeper of the Year in 2015 as she kept a clean sheet for her team.
Following their win, Netherlands star Eva de Goede said: “GB is a very strong team, their defence is great and they are very good at counter-attacking. Our strongest point is our combination hockey – that was the difference today. It was important for us that we ended this game differently to how we ended the Euros here (in 2015). We’re doing great – the first two games we’ve got two wins, so we are going strong.”
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