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Hockey World Cup 2023: Social media shocked as Netherlands pounds Australia 3-1 to take 3rd spot

Hockey World Cup 2023: The third-place playoff occurred on Sunday in Bhubaneshwar, as Australia was up against the Netherlands. While the former was the favourite, the latter pulled off a spectacular performance, sending social media into shock.

Hockey World Cup 2023, AUS vs NED: Social media shocked as Netherlands pounds Australia 3-1 to take 3rd spot-ayh
First Published Jan 29, 2023, 7:21 PM IST

Captain Thierry Brinkman struck twice as Netherlands dished out a superb show of attacking hockey to beat world number one Australia 3-1 and clinch the bronze medal in the 2023 FIH Men's Hockey World Cup at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar on Sunday. Brinkman struck in the 35th and 40th minutes, while penalty corner expert Jip Janssen scored the other goal for the Netherlands in the 33rd minute. Australia's lone goal came from its penalty corner expert Jeremy Hayward in the 13th minute. The bronze meant that the Netherlands finished on the podium for the fourth time in succession, and it is also equal with Australia on the maximum number of medals won in the showpiece event.

Netherlands and Australia have now won 10 medals each in the 15 editions of the World Cup. The Dutch finished third in 2010 and runners-up in 2014 and 2018. They won the title in 1973, 1990 and 1998. For three-time champion Australia, this was the first time it returned home without a medal after it finished fourth in the 1998 edition. It won a bronze in the last edition in the country.

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Australia dominated the first quarter of the third-fourth place match between the losing semifinalist with more circle entries while the young Netherlands side relied on counter-attacks. Blake Govers had a go at the Dutch goal in the seventh minute, but his shot went wide. Four minutes later, captain Aran Zalewski also missed the target from a fine pass from Hayward pass.

The Kookaburras earned two penalty corners and took the lead from the second PC two minutes before the end of the first quarter, with Hayward sounding the board for his ninth tournament goal. Netherlands, considered the most attacking side in the tournament, began to grow from the second quarter, which did not yield any goal, and Koen Bijen's opportunistic attempt went just wide in the 22nd minute.

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Australia led 1-0 at the breather, but the Dutch turned up a completely different side in the second half, as they pumped in three goals in the third quarter. Captain Brinkman was at his absolute best, lording the midfield play, supplying the forwards and even scoring goals. After Janssen struck from Netherlands' fourth PC of the match, Brinkman scored two brilliant field goals in the 35th and 40th minutes to give his side a 3-1 lead.

The young Netherlands side was quick on counterattacks, and on many occasions, the Australian defence was caught napping by the sheer speed of the Dutchmen. Brinkman's second goal -- and Netherlands' third -- though resulted from a defensive blunder from Australia's Tim Howard, who failed to clear the ball from inside his circle properly. The Netherlands thought it had scored another goal seven minutes before the final hooter, but the video umpire ruled otherwise.

(With inputs from PTI)

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