(Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)
3rd-4th place playoff
New Zealand – Netherlands 1-4 (half-time: 1-1)
Jeroen Hertzberger’s double helped the Netherlands land third place from the World League semi-final in Rotterdam, leaving New Zealand having to wait and see whether they will be confirmed as a 2014 World Cup qualifier.
It was primarily down to a controlled second half performance to see off the Blacksticks who had taken the game to the hosts in the early phases. Against the run of play, New Zealand hit the front as Phil Burrows burst through down the right channel and picked out the narrowest of gaps by Pirmin Blaak’s left boot, taking a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute.
That advantage, though, lasted just five minutes as Rogier Hofman’s excellent baseline run opened the door and he fired across for Jeroen Hertzberger to touch in his tenth goal of the tournament. It remained locked at 1-1 until the break as Billy Bakker’s rising shot was brilliantly saved by Hamish McGregor just a couple of seconds before the interval.
But the Dutch took control in the second period as Hertzberger netted his second of the game with a powerful drag-flick soon in the 39th minute. Valentin Verga’s left wing cross-shot from a tight angle then deceived all before him with defender Stephen Jenness getting a slight touch to redirect the ball into the goal.
From there, New Zealand battled hard with a couple of near misses in the closing quarter but the Dutch rounded off proceedings in the closing minutes when Jelle Galema swept home after Hofman again created the chance down the right.