New Delhi, Jan 18: The Netherlands coasted to a 7-2 win over New Zealand in the summit clash to lift the Hockey World League Final title at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here Saturday.
Earlier, World No.4 England upset reigning World Champions Australia 2-1 to win the bronze medal play-off with English skipper Barry Middleton hitting the winning goal in the 54th minute.
A cagey first 10 minutes saw both teams in the final testing the opposition but providing very few real scoring opportunities. World No.3 the Netherlands broke the deadlock when Constantijn Jonkers hit the ball from a seemingly impossible angle, past an outstretched Devon Manchester in the Black Sticks goal in the 17th minute.
A second goal was added by Billy Bakker in the 23rd minute as the men in black struggled to cope with the ferocity of the Netherlands attack.
The Dutchmen’s third goal came on the stroke of halftime when a ball fired in from the midfield found Jonkers, who deflected the ball past Manchester.
The Netherlands turned up the pressure in the last 15 minutes of the first half, winning two penalty corners and keeping New Zealand pinned in their half.
The second half got off to a scintillating start as first, the Netherlands, through Bob de Voogd, went up 4-0 up in the 36th minute and then Steve Edwards of the Black Sticks reduced the scoreline in the next minute.
The game continued to be very open with both teams seeking long passes to penetrate the defence but again it was the Netherlands who made pressure tell with Rogier Hofman scoring Oranje’s fifth goal in the 45th minute, putting the game all but out of the Black Sticks reach.
Edwards scored his second for the Black Sticks in the 52nd minute but then Bakker also added his second in the 59th, again a field goal that bounced around the circle before the tall Dutchman fired it home.
Minutes later, Jonker got his hat-trick after running onto a ball fired into the circle and tapping it home in the 61st minute to help his team register a comfortable 7-2 win.