Hockey World Cup: Why Netherlands won't go dutch against India

Updated: 10 December, 2018 08:50 IST | Ashwin Ferro | Bhubaneswar

And while Canada are capable of giving the Dutchmen a fight, thoughts of playing India are already occupying their minds

Jeroen Hertzberger
Jeroen Hertzberger

World No. 4 the Netherlands hammered World No. 13 Pakistan 5-1 in the last league match here yesterday to book their place in the crossover clash with Canada on Tuesday. A win there will see them lock horns with World No. 5 India in the quarter-finals on Thursday. And while Canada are capable of giving the Dutchmen a fight, thoughts of playing India are already occupying their minds.

The Netherlands' most experienced player, Jeroen Hertzberger (212 caps) said their priority is Canada at the moment but admitted India will be a hard nut to crack. "While we are looking forward to the India match, we have to first try and win our crossover. This is a crazy tournament," said Hertzberger, 32, who seems to have the Indians all figured out. "India are a big team. They have great energy and are fast. They are very good on the ball and well organised defensively too. They are a good team overall, but so are we," he said.

Yesterday, the Dutch seemed to be in control of the game before Pakistan suddenly equalised. But Hertzberger said conceding goals is something they are prepared for, as long as they can score more. "Just like Pakistan scored today, there's a good chance that India too will score against us, but you have to keep your cool.

In international hockey it's difficult to keep a clean slate," he said, adding that they are prepared to play against the crowd too come Thursday. "We have enough experience in our team to keep control of the game even when 15,000 people not cheering for us," he said. Earlier, Germany beat Malaysia 5-3 to top Pool D, sending Pakistan into the crossover clash against Belgium.

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First Published: 10 December, 2018 08:40 IST

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