The Netherlands’ World Cup winning streak came to an end on Day 2 of the Women’s World Cup in Athens, as Hungary defeated the Dutch in a thrilling match.
It was three times lucky for the Magyars, who had lost their previous two meetings with the Netherlands in all competitions. The Hungarians played stellar defence and avenged their loss from last week in Rotterdam.
Spain cruised past China in the first game, securing a spot in the World Cup finals.
With a victory over Australia, the Greeks can also clinch a spot in Long Beach; the final game of the day is between the United States and Italy.
Day 2, Women’s World Cup 2023 Athens– Group B
Spain 17 – 11 China (4-1, 4-4, 4-2, 5-4)
Spain: L. Ester, C. Nogue 1, P. Prats, B. Ortiz 4, N. Perez 2, P. Crespi, E. Ruiz 5, P. Pena 1, A. Ruiz, P. Camus 1, M. Garcia 1, P. Leiton 2, M. Terre
China: J. Zhang, Z. Li, D. Xiong 1, Y. Zhai 1, S. Wang, Z. Deng 2, H. Wang 3, S. Yan 1, S. Nong 2, X. Chen, J. Zhang 1, Y. Xie
Spain has qualified for the World Cup Finals with a straightforward victory over China (17-11).
Two players originating from CN Rubi were the stars of the game; with 18-year-old Elena Ruiz scoring five goals, while Bea Ortiz followed up her five-goal game yesterday with four goals today.
The reigning European champions powered their way through the game, finishing their chances well and frustrating China with a resolute showing in defence.
Despite small sparks of positivity from China, the river only flowed one way today. The Chinese too often encouraged the Spanish to shoot, and the reigning World League Champions obliged. Spain’s defence was not much better than China’s, particularly in the second half of the game, but key spells in the first and third quarter put Miki Oca’s team out of sight.
The most important thing for Spain was to qualify for the World Cup Finals, and now they have. They’ll aim to go three from three in Athens as they take on Greece tomorrow. With the two European teams out of the way, China now might feel their best chance at victory will be against Australia tomorrow.
China started typically well, scoring the first goal of the match, but the Spanish were taking no prisoners in attack, scoring from their next three shots; two via the elastic arm of Elena Ruiz, supported by a Bea Ortiz strike. Soon it was 4-1, with the unstoppable Paula Camus beating three defenders to fire past Jiaqi Zhang.
China showed signs of intent in the second period, but the Spanish had an answer to every question; a Bea Ortiz double maintained the three-goal distance (8-5).
The knockout blow came in the third, and as the Spanish piled on the pressure, the Chinese buckled; with Maica Garcia, Cristina Nogue and Bea Ortiz – for her hat-trick – putting Spain in a place of comfort and out of sight (11-5).
Neither side closed the game out with a strong defensive showing, with a third of the game’s goals coming inside the last eight minutes. China enjoyed something of a revival, but they never came close to threatening Spain’s lead.
Day 2, Women’s World Cup 2023 Athens– Group A
Netherlands 11 – 12 Hungary (4-5, 3-3, 2-2, 2-2)
Netherlands: L. Aarts, I. Wolves, B. Sleeking 4, M.Van der Weijden 1, M. Keuning 1, S. Van de Kraats 2, B. Rogge, V. Sevenich 1, K. Joustra, L. Rogge 2, F. Bosveld, N. Ten Broek, S. Buis
Hungary: A. Magyari, D. Szilagy 4i, V. Valyi 1, G. Gurisatti 1, D. Domsodi, R. Parkes 2, P. Szegedi, P. Tiba, D. Leimeter 1, N. Rybanska 2, K. Farago, K. Garda 1, B. Neszmely
Hungary halted the Dutch winning streak in the World Cup, running-out as 12-11 winners in a fierce contest.
In Rotterdam, the two teams were incredibly evenly matched, and the same was true in Athens – so much so that the Magyars won by the same score as in their previous loss to the Netherlands.
On balance, the Hungarians merited the victory; Attila Biro’s squad had a solid defensive structure and, despite not taking many of them, created more scoring opportunities. Hungary did well to prevent any scores from the Dutch seven on six plays.
Dorottya Szilagyi was on fire in the first half, finding four goals from the left-side.
The Dutch displayed a slight decline in performance, but they were up against a physically imposing Hungarian squad. The Hungarians were successful in preventing the Dutch from getting to their centre forwards, and while the Dutch were able to score from the top, the Hungarian defences ultimately held.
It rained goals in the first quarter, with the floodgates opening for both teams. Hungary threaded the needle well from out wide, but didn’t apply enough pressure on the Netherlands shooters. A hat-trick from Dorottya Szilagyi gave Hungary a 5-4 lead after eight minutes.
Hungary once again enjoyed the better of the play in the second period, but it didn’t show on the scoreboard at half-time. Szilagyi added her fourth of the match, before Gurisatti put Hungary up by two goals. The Dutch halved the deficit in their last attack of the half, with Lieke Rogge firing home from the 5m penalty line.
Everything Szilagyi had touched in the game turned to gold, but in the second half, she couldn’t convert past Sarah Buis, and in a flash, the Dutch were back level via Maartje Keuning (8-8). Rybanska and Van de Kraats both added scores for their respective teams to keep the deadlock (9-9), but Hungary led for the third successive quarter with a late shot from Krisztina Garda slipping through Sarah Buis’ arms.
The final quarter really had a tense and cagey feeling to it. Lieke Rogge got the Dutch back in terms, but Hungary edged ahead through Dora Leimeter’s powerful man-up shot. Although Brigitte Sleeking’s cooley-taken penalty put the score level with ninety seconds to play, Hungary showed tremendous grit to re-take the lead, and from there, the Dutch had nothing left.
Read more about the World Cup