The last time India played against the Netherlands at the Women’s Hockey Junior World Cup (in 2013), they suffered a 3-0 defeat in the semi-finals. India finished the tournament with a bronze medal, their best result ever, while the Dutch won the trophy.
This time, India will look to get a positive result in the semi-final against the same opposition and book a place in the final for the first time in their history.
Here’s everything you need to know about the semi-final between India and the Netherlands:
When is the match: April 10, Sunday, at
Where to see: Live on Watch Hockey and Fancode.
India’s progress so far
Salima Tete and co. qualified for the semifinals after beating South Korea 3-0. Surprisingly, South Korea dominated the first 10 minutes of the first quarter, but India gained control afterwards and scored two quick goals in the next four minutes. India added another in the third quarter to complete the victory.
India came to the quarter after topping Group D with nine points after three matches. They opened their campaign by beating Wales 5-1 and followed it up with a 2-1 win against Germany. In their last group game, India continued their streak with a 4-0 victory over Malaysia.
The Netherlands, like India, are unbeaten in their four matches. However, their goal scoring form has been on a different level. In four games so far, they have scored 43 goals without conceding any. They won their opening match of the tournament 9-0 against the United States. They defeated Canada 11-0 and went on to score 18 against Zimbabwe. In the quarter-finals, the Netherlands scored another five to beat South Africa.
It is clear that the scoring statistics for the tournament are dominated by Dutch players. The two best goal scorers in the tournament are Jip Dicke and Luna Fokke. Dicke has scored 12 goals, while Fokke has 10 to his name. The third highest goal scorer in the tournament is Mumtaz Khan from India, who has scored six so far.
The Netherlands have also scored 16 goals from the penalty corner, most by any team.
Holland’s performance in the quarterfinals
Holland’s performance in the quarterfinals: The final score was 5-0 to the Dutch, but that did not tell the whole story. The hosts South Africa pushed their opponents throughout the match. As expected, the Netherlands took an early lead, but South Africa were not disappointed. Backed by the loud crowd at the stadium, the home team were the most attacking of the teams. Bianca Wood and Onthatile Zulu created enough problems for the Dutch defense, but were unable to convert their chances.
Dutch goalkeeper Sophia ter Kuile needed to be the best, making a fantastic double save, first from the penalty corner and then saved the follow-up. As the game progressed, South Africa failed to take their chances while the Netherlands did the exact opposite, which proved to be the difference.
After the match, Dutch head coach Dave Smolenaars remarked that his team needed to improve. “The start was a bit dubious, but in the second half we were more efficient. We were tested by a very energetic team from South Africa. We need to improve more because India has a really good team. We need to improve all aspects of our South Africa were good on the contrary, and India will do the same, “said Smolenaars
So how can India harm the Netherlands?
Both teams have been effective when it comes to turning their chances around. India have the added benefit of having played a strong team like Germany in the group stage and beating them. It was a tough performance against Germany, with India scoring early and defending well to prevent waves of attack.
They will have to perform a similar performance in the semifinals. India’s greatest strength has been their clinical display in front of goal. They have not been wasted so far and they cannot afford to reverse that trend in a crucial game. India also have pace in their ranks with people like Salima Tete, Sharmila Devi and Lalremsiami, and as the Dutch coach pointed out, counter-attacks will be a major threat.
The Dutch will go into the match as favorites thanks to their history and statistics, but it will be their first real test in the tournament. India has the game plan and the players to make a big impact.