Hockey players after 3-1 victory over Belgium to the European Championship final

The host country experienced against the Red Panthers a dream start. After five minutes, Stella van Gils pushed through on the right, Maria Verschoor found, who in turn let Frédérique Matla score her seventh tournament goal.

After the withdrawal of Marijn Veen and the absent Lidewij Welten, Verschoor undergoes a striking transition at the European Championship. The midfielder, who has been transformed into a striker in a short time, feels like a fish in water in the enemy circle.

The Belgian women knew in advance that it would be a tough job to reach the final, but they held on to the previous European Championship match with the Netherlands. At the time, Orange was cleverly kept in check on Wilrijkse Plein: 1-1.

Dry shot Albers

Barely a minute into the second quarter, the game was decided. Pien Dicke snatched the ball from Hélène Brasseur and put Laurien Leurink to work. The SCHC player found Felice Albers, who cleverly got rid of Tiphaine Duquesne and kept goalkeeper Elena Sotgiu without a chance with a dry shot: 2-0.

From that moment on, the team of Raoul Ehren, who this summer permanently exchanged Den Bosch for the national coach of Belgium, played a losing battle. The Dutch women under Alyson Annan have never given up a margin of two hits.


After the monster victory over Scotland, Annan already let slip that the big nightmare, the shortening of her Olympic roster, is getting closer. The coach will also have to decide which of her two goalkeepers in Tokyo can be under the bar: Anne Veenendaal or Josine Koning. The two keepers don’t get much to do during the European Championship, but Koning actually had to come into action in the 25th minute on a backhand shot by Judith Vandermeiren. The Den Bosch goalie did that in a controlled manner and with conviction.

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Still, the southern neighbors managed to make it exciting, when Stephanie Vanden Borre halved the deficit from the spot, after Justine Rasir was hit on her stick. Not much later, Ambre Ballenghien was even close to equalizing, but the Belgian star player missed the far post when she had to.

Orange looked for liberation and found it in the form of a penalty corner. Caia van Maasakker scored flawlessly from the head of the circle with a line in the top left corner: 3-1. The Orange squad defends the title it won two years ago in Antwerp at the expense of Germany (2-0). A repeat of that final is possible, as the German women will play against Spain in the other semi-final later in the day.

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