Australia thrash Holland to win Hockey World Cup
Looking back, the turning point of the 2014 World Cup hockey final was Holland scoring the first goal in the 14th minute, a brilliant piece of reverse hitting by Jeroen Hertzberger that sped in like a tracer bullet. But that was it; the start and end of Holland' 14 minutes of domination.
Hardly had the terraces in the Kyocera quietened down, Australia went on a rampage that had no parallel. They sped in from all sides of the Dutch striking circle like a clutch of bees, leaving the Dutch players and fan stunned.
In the end, the 6-1 score-line was a testimony to the Australian's skills and hunger to win the World Cup for the second consecutive time. For the Dutch, the final whistle was a relief; an opportunity to walk away from the Kyocera pitch, a reminder of one of their biggest defeats.
Under Ric Charlesworth, the Aussies had won the 2010 World Cup in New Delhi. Today, they seemed meaner and hungrier. In fact, the sixth goal by shirt number one and their most decorated player Jamie Dwyer described the Aussie's one-point plan for the final demolish the opposition and establish the Aussies as the best in the world.
After the match, Ric Charlesworth, beaming like a Cheshire cat, said, "We were the best team in the tournament. And, today, we showed that to the world in every aspect. We scored more than the other teams and we completely dominated the match."
Even at the break, it seemed that Holland might make a fight of it. They were 1-2 down and an equalizer could have reversed fortunes. Mark Knowles, the Australian captain, had different ideas. He played the sweeper and hardly any Dutch move went past him. Knowles dominated the match like a colossus. Two minutes into the final, Australian scored increasing the margin to 3-1. The Dutch fans shoulders were falling while the players were feeling the heat of Australian's pace.
Two consecutive penalty corner goals from Chris Ciriello which completed his hat-trick finished off any hopes that the Dutch had off coming back into the match. They did try towards the end but then Jamie Dwyer killed of the last remaining Dutch spirit.
70 minutes sometimes might seem short for a match. But for the Dutch it was like an eternity. The closer they tried coming to the World Cup trophy, the further it was dragged away by the Aussies. The last time Holland won the World Cup was in 1998 when they beat Spain 3-2. India's now High Performance Director Roelant Oltman's was then the Dutch coach.
In the end, Paul van Ass, the Dutch coach cut a lonely figure, walking alone to the post-match press conference. "We did try our best," he said. "But the Aussies were just too good. They deserve the World Cup."