A remarkable achievement, as almost all the players of play-off finalists Den Bosch and SCHC were absent from the Orange squad. Only striker Joosje Burg (Den Bosch) and goalkeeper Alexandra Heerbaart (SCHC) made the trip to East London.
Like Ireen van den Assem, who previously said goodbye to the Dutch national team after having to miss the Olympics due to injury. The defender is back from that decision this year and has set his sights on Paris 2024. Brabant (32) won everything to win, including European and world champions, but Olympic gold is still missing from the palm of his hand.
Van den Assem, who was promoted to the Dutch top flight with his old club Tilburg after playing for Den Bosch for many years, is a welcome reinforcement for the Orange defence. You can also send a message to veterans in the penalty corner: in the third quarter Van den Assem equalized past Maddie Hinch, after England had taken an opening lead through Elena Rayer.
The experienced Van den Assem is a player who knows how to stay calm in critical moments. This also applies to the Netherlands’ third corner, as the second was ‘passed’ by Felice Albers. This time Van den Assem chose the variant and served Tessa Classener who scored hard and high: 1-2.
The goal was enough for the win, although England still came close to equalizing three seconds (!) before time, but Heerbaart saw the ball disappear over the net. With that, Saturday’s soap stains were washed away. Tessa Beetsma (HDM) made her debut in the game, a day after Maria Steensma (Pinoké) won her first cap.
It will be a tough task for interim national coach Jamilon Mülders to draw up his World Cup options. Germany will have to crack a hard nut in the coming days, as the tournament for number one in the world kicks off on July 2 with a match against Ireland. The match was a repeat of the World Cup final four years ago, which was won by Orange by force majeure.
Meanwhile, Eva de Goede, the big boss of the team that won gold in Tokyo, is working hard to get back. De Goede, 33 and two-time world player of the year, injured his anterior cruciate ligament in November. It seems almost a utopia that the three-time Olympic champion has recovered in time for the World Cup. But not without reason Eva de Goede is Eva de Goede, a hockey star from another planet.
Perhaps the playmaker, well for 251 caps, mirrors himself to team-mate and ‘soulmate’ Lidewij Welten. The forward suffered a serious hamstring injury just three months before the Olympic tournament, but recovered quickly thanks to intensive treatment to play all duels during Japan’s golden summer.
Time is running out for De Goede. Meanwhile, his team-mates will play four more Pro League matches ahead of the World Cup at Spain’s Amstelveen and Terrassa: two against Germany (11 and 12 June, Hamburg) and as many against China (21 and June). 22, Rotterdam). Mülders can then continue to work on putting together the puzzle pieces for the World Cup. But anyway: Irene van den Assem is doing very good business in London.
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