Taeke Taekema had raised visions of a drag-flick blitz in the hockey World Cup after scoring three goals off penalty-corners in the opening match. On Wednesday, he scored another against New Zealand in a Pool A league match at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium. But then the Dutch magician fell silent.
The Netherlands then went into a slump, missing four PCs yet managing to drub New Zealand 3-1, thanks to three first-half goals in a late-evening encounter.
The Black Sticks surprised the Dutch by going ahead in the first minute when skipper Philip Burrows deflected a nice cross from Steven Edwards past goalkeeper Guus Vogels.
Holland replied within minutes, scoring two goals. Forward Ronald Brouwer came up with the equaliser in the second minute and Taekema put his team ahead in the seventh. Twenty minutes later, the score-line read 3-1 in favour of the Netherlands with forward Jeroen Hertzberger scoring his first goal.
Dutch skipper, Teun de Nooijer, was in his elements and created some good chances but was unlucky not to score. Ryan Archibald looked the most potent Kiwi player. Unfortunately, luck didn’t favour him on Wednesday.