Dazzling Dutch through to fourth successive women’s Olympic final

The Netherlands are just one victory away from being in possession of the World, European, FIH Hockey Pro League and Olympic titles after producing yet another dazzling display at the Oi Hockey Stadium.

They overpowered Rio 2016 gold medallists Great Britain 5-1 in this morning’s first semi-final. It is a fifth successive Olympic final for the Oranje, giving them a chance to claim their fourth Olympic crown. 

The Netherlands’ opponents in the gold medal match will be Argentina after they edged out India 2-1.

The Dutch took a stranglehold on the game in the second period with two goals in 60 seconds. Amsterdam’s rising star Felice Albers slotted home after Laurien Leurink carved open the British defence, with Den Bosch’s Marloes Keetels smashing home a second with a thumping hit from the top of the circle that gave GB goalkeeper Maddie Hinch little hope of saving. 

The Netherlands kicked on further in the third quarter thanks to a sliding penalty corner deflection from Maria Verschoor and a second for Albers, who showed her predatory instincts to attack a cross from the left and guide her touch into the roof of the net for 4-0.

Giselle Ansley pulled a goal back for Great Britain with a deflected penalty corner before competition top scorer Frederique Matla put the game to bed, netting a penalty corner for her ninth goal in seven matches. 

“Great Britain put a lot of pressure on us in the first quarter and we had to invest a lot of time and energy on creating space for us to play the game that we needed to play and I think we did that very well”, said Netherlands coach Alyson Annan in the post-match press conference. 

“We welcomed the pressure, which is a very positive thing for us to be welcoming pressure in a semi-final. Once we opened the game up, scored two quick goals in the second quarter we were at our game and played very well for the rest of the match.”

Great Britain’s Hannah Martin said: “We are disappointed. We wanted to keep it tight as long as we could and unfortunately those two goals came in quite quick succession. We knew we could get it back but unfortunately it wasn’t to be today.”