Dutch crush Aussies to stay unbeaten in Women’s Champ Trophy
CHANGZHOU, China (AP) — The Netherlands crushed Australia 3-0 to remain perfect in the Women’s Champions Trophy on Tuesday, and could yet face the Hockeyroos in the final.
The top-ranked Dutch, with three wins from three games in the six-team round robin, would qualify for Sunday’s final by beating Olympic champion Britain on Thursday. Second-placed Australia would them join them with a win over host China.
The Netherlands underlined its dominance by halftime with goals to teen Marijn Veen in a goalmouth scramble and Caia van Maasakker from a penalty stroke.
Australia didn’t enter the Dutch circle until the last minute of the half, and the shot was blocked. After halftime, Jodie Kenny’s high penalty stroke was saved by Dutch goalkeeper Anne Veenendaal. Ginella Zerbo capped the scoring for the Netherlands, which led 13-1 on shots and 7-1 on penalty corners.
China finished last at the Women’s World Cup in July in London, and has rebounded impressively with draws against Britain and Japan, and defeating defending champion Argentina 2-0. The Leonas’ hopes of a record-extending eighth Trophy title were extinguished by the Chinese, who scored early through Zhang Jingrong and Li Hong from breaks then put up a wall.
As in its two previous losses, winless Argentina peppered the goal but couldn’t score. It has only one goal in three games.
Playing its first tournament as Britain since the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, it led Japan 2-0 after six minutes after field goals by Sophie Bray and Tessa Howard. But Japan dominated from that point. Hazuki Nagai halved the deficit before halftime, Motomi Kawamura hit the post to start the second half, and Japan finally equalized when Nagai deflected in a penalty corner.
Japan had nine penalty corners, and Britain none.