The Netherlands won the first ever Hockey World League after cruising to a 7-2 victory over New Zealand in the final of the Hero Hockey World League Final. In the bronze medal match England beat Australia 2-1 to finish at 3rd place. Belgium defeated India and Germany beat Argentina by 2-1 each to finish 5th and 7th respectively.
1. Best Junior Player of the Tournament – Mandeep Singh – India
2. Best Goal Keeper of the Tournament – George Pinner – England
3. Hero Top Scorer of the Tournament – Kieran Govers – Australia
4. Hero Best Player of the Tournament – Robbert Kemperman – Netherlands
In the final, A cagey first 10 minutes saw both teams testing their opposition, but providing very few real scoring opportunities. It was the Netherlands who broke the deadlock when Constantijn Jonkers (17′) hit the ball from a seemingly impossible angle past an outstretched Devon Manchester in the Black Sticks goal.
The Netherlands turned up the pressure in the last 15 minutes of the first half, winning two penalty corners and keeping the Black Sticks pinned in their half of the pitch. A second goal was added by Billy Bakker (23′) as the men in black struggled to cope with the ferocity of the Netherlands attack. The Netherlands third goal came on the stroke of half time when a ball fired in from the midfield found Jonkers (35′) who deflected the ball past Manchester.
The second half got off to a scintillating start as first the Netherlands through Bob de Voogd (36′) put the Netherlands 4-0 up and then Steve Edwards (37′) of the Black Sticks made the score 4-1.The game continued to be very open, with both teams seeking long passes to penetrate the defence, but again it was the Netherlands who made pressure tell, Rogier Hofman (45′) scoring Oranje hockey’s fifth goal and putting the game all but out of the Black Sticks reach. Edwards (52′) scored his second for the Black Sticks but then Bakker (59′) added his second, again a field goal that bounced around the circle before the tall Dutchman fired it home. Minutes later Jonker (61′) got his hat-trick after running onto a ball fired into the circle and tipping it home.
Paul Van Ass, Coach, Netherland said: “Earlier we had qualified three quarter finals but couldn’t win the finals. This time it was important for us to win it. 10-15 yrs ago we weren’t there in the hockey domain but now we are there well prepared. I am very happy the way the tournament went, our victory with Germany and Australia had boosted our confidence and today game we played good hockey. For me the tournament was special as the way it has carried there was no favourite team which makes it interesting for everybody involved.
Bryce Collins, Coach, New Zealand said: “ In the first half, Netherland dominated the game but we were better in the second half. Unfortunately when you are four nil down it is very difficult to come back, this was really disappointing, Holland thoroughly deserves top win this match. But I am pleased by what we have developed and experienced in this tournament.
Highlights of Hero Hockey World League Final 2014 in New Delhi