The Netherlands land yet another title as they win first women’s Pro League

©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

The Netherlands have been crowned winners of the inaugural FIH Pro League thanks to a shoot-out victory over Australia, triumphing in a thrilling final played in glorious sunshine at the Wagener Stadium.

The final was a thriller with the scores locked together at 2-2 after normal time before the Dutch emerged 4-3 winners in the shoot-out. 

Australia silenced the home fans when Mariah Williams scored from a penalty corner in the 19th minute before Marijn Veen pulled the Dutch level four minutes later.

Kelly Jonker’s fourth quarter strike put the hosts ahead in the fourth quarter, but a late penalty stroke was clinically dispatched by Kaitlin Nobbs to send the match into a shoot-out.

With the score locked at 3-3 after four attempts each, a disallowed goal from Australia’s Brooke Peris allowed Lauren Stam to wrap up the victory as the Oranje added the FIH Pro League to their world and European titles.

As well as the lifting the trophy, the Netherlands also saw one of their players collect an individual award, with Frederique Matla named as the Best Player of the FIH Pro League.

“It was amazing, it was a tough match with the shoot-outs but I’m so proud we got the win”, said Netherlands ace Xan de Waard. “It’s the first FIH Pro League ever, so I think that is amazing. We’ve had so much fun, so to end it like this is amazing.”

Australia’s Rachael Lynch was named Deloitte Goalkeeper of the Grand Final, while Argentina’s Micaela Retegui took the Auping Best Goal of the FIH Pro League Grand Final thanks to her brilliant strike against Germany in the 3-4 play-off.

Germany, thuogh, won those spoils after a 1-1 draw in normal time, winning their shoot-out against Las Leonas.

The Dutch remain top of the world rankings as a result with Australia second, Argentina third with England in fourth and Germany fifth.