The Netherlands produced one of the performances of the tournament to date to smash World Cup champions Australia 4-0 in the men’s Olympic quarter-final, a side who beat them 6-1 in that 2014 final.
It means the Dutch march on to the semi-finals to face Belgium while the Kookaburras miss out on the top four for the first time since 1980.
Billy Bakker got the Dutch off to a dream start, scoring inside 50 seconds when he picked up on Mink van der Weerden’s strong interception. The midfielder switched onto his reverse and slammed past Andrew Charter.
Australia responded in kind with Glenn Turner going close twice, the second time drawing a brilliant save from Jaap Stockmann at close quarters. Jacob Whetton was also buzzing with a series of sharp attacks but it was the Dutch who struck again.
Bob de Voogd had already tested Charter with a vicious reverse shot before he swept home for 2-0, profiting from more brilliance from Bakker, weaving through three tackles in the circle.
Valentin Verga made it 3-0 early in the second half following a ripper of a move, Rogier Hofman picking out Jeroen Hertzberger’s run moving away from goal. With the space created, he hit an early cross which Verga met first time – a great team goal.
Mink van der Weerden dragged home the fourth goal from a penalty corner passed Charter’s left boot with 11 minutes to go, effectively ending the contest.