Bhubaneswar: Skipper Thierry Brinkman struck a double as the Netherlands came back from a goal deficit to beat Australia 3-1 and claim the third place in the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023, here on Sunday.
This is the fourth medal for the Netherlands in the men’s World Cup as they had finished runners-up in the last two editions in 2014 and 2018 and were third in the 2010 World Cup played in New Delhi.
Australia opened the scoring in the 13th minute when drag flicker Jeremy Hayward converted their first penalty corner.They maintained their one-goal advantage in the second quarter too as they led 1-0 at half-time.
But things went downhill for them in the second half of the match as Australia conceded three goals as the young team of energetic players representing the Netherlands dominated the proceedings in the third quarter and clinched third place in the World Cup.
After penalty corner specialist Jip Janssen pulled the Netherlands level by converting a penalty corner in the 32nd minute, Brinkman put the Netherlands 2-1 up with a superb deflected goal in the 34th minute, capitalising on a defensive error as the Dutch launched a swift counter-attack.
Brinkman scored his second goal within five minutes as the Netherlands took control of the match, capitalising on some mistakes committed by the Australians in the defense. All three goals for the Dutch came in the third quarter as they pressed ahead and dominated the quarter.
The Dutch absorbed the pressure exerted by the Kookaburras in the fourth and last quarter, even when they were reduced to 10 players after Thijs Van Dam was shown a yellow card for a dangerous sliding tackle inside the shooting circle in the 52nd minute.
Brinkman, who was superb in attack, proved equal in defense as he marshalled his resources superbly to keep the Australians at the bay.
Australia had 68 per cent possession in the opponent’s half and made 21 entries into the circle as compared to 16 entries from Australia. Australia had four penalty corners of which they scored one goal while the Netherlands had five PCs and converted one.