The Netherlands defeated Spain narrowly – 12:11 on Day 6 of the European qualification for the Women’s World League Super Final.
The Dutch kept nice chances to reach the Final Eight, but the Hungarians are also happy with this outcome. Since European champion Spain didn’t win today, Hungary will remain atop the group.
Netherlands – Spain 12:11 (2:1, 4:5, 3:4, 3:1)
Netherlands: Van de Kraats 5, Genee 3, Van der Sloot 3, Stomphorst 1.
Spain: Forca 4, Ortiz 3, Ruiz 2, Leiton 1, Pena 1
There were only 11 players on the Netherlands’ roster today, because of disciplinary sanctions for exclusions in the previous match.
Although they played with two players less, the Dutch dictated the pace in the first two quarters and had a two-goal lead two times (2:0, 4:2). Two minutes before the middle break, Elena Ruiz put the Spaniards in front (6:5), but Dagmar Genee responded immediately for 6:6.
The balanced battle was continued after the middle break, but Spain managed to build a two-goal advantage (8:6, 9:7) in the third period. Just 15 seconds before the end of the quarter, the European champions earned a new 2-goal lead (10:8). Then, the Dutch started climbing back. Catharina van der Sloot beat the buzzer and scored an action goal for 9:10 in the last second of this period. The Netherlands, led by Simone van de Kraats, opened the third period with three unanswered goals and jumped to 12:10 in the 28th minute. Spain halved the distance (11:12) in the 30th minute and had the last attack to level the score, but Sarah Buis saved a shot from Beatriz Ortiz.
Tomorrow, the Netherlands will face Russia. The Dutch need two points in that game (a win after a penalty shootout), to advance to the Final Eight. Russia is the organizer of the final tournament. Therefore, the Russians are already qualified for F8.
1 Hungary 6 – 16
2 Spain 6 – 14
3 Greece 6 – 9
4 Netherlands 5 – 8
5 Italy 6 – 7
6 Russia 5 – 6
7 France 6 – 0
Saturday, March 27 (Day 7)
18:00 Netherlands – Russia