Hockey, Champions Trophy: Netherlands outplay Pakistan 5-2; enter final after six years

Livewire striker Billy Bakker opened the scoring with a flash strike in the second minute and added another goal in similar manner in the 32nd minute to give Netherlands a 3-1 lead at the interval.

Last updated on Saturday, 08 December, 2012 12:55 IST
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Melbourne: The Netherlands are in line to win their first Champions Trophy title for six years after outclassing Pakistan 5-2 in a semi-final in Melbourne on Saturday.

The third-ranked Dutch were on top throughout and led 3-1 at halftime before scoring twice more in the second half for an emphatic win.

The Netherlands will now face the winner of Saturday's other semi-final between Australia and India in Sunday's final.

Striker Billy Bakker said the Dutch were pleased with their progress throughout the tournament.

"We have a good team and before we came to Melbourne we had a goal to play in the final, minimum, and hopefully to take the gold back to the Netherlands," Bakker said.

Bakker said he expected to meet Australia in the final and described them as the tougher side.

"There will be no more open spaces like we had today in the second half. It will be two teams who will be playing at high speed, and we will see.

"Our main goal is the World Cup (in 2014) in our own country and if we want to win there we have to win the Champions Trophy or the European Cup so it will be a good experience for us, and it's a good feeling."

The result was a disappointment for Pakistan but they must respond quickly for the playoff for the bronze medal against either Australia or India on Sunday.

Pakistan's Shakeel Abbasi said his team was disappointed, however they still had plenty to play for in the bronze medal match.

"We are still in the medal race so we will try our best. Today Holland played well but in the start we had a few chances," Abbasi said.

"We will try our best because it is a medal match and a medal match is always a good match."

The Dutch began in terrific form, with Pakistan looking shell-shocked.

It was not long until the Dutch confirmed their dominance with Bakker scoring the first of his two goals only two minutes into the match.

Having been given far too much space into their circle, the Netherlands continued to attack with Severiano van Ass making it 2-0 at the 20 minute mark.

Pakistan were given a gift minutes later when an own goal was scored off the stick of Netherlands defender Bob de Voogd.

However a second Bakker goal gave them the momentum before half time with a commanding 3-1 lead.

The Dutch powered on in the second half with two more goals before Abbasi scored a late consolation goal.

In the earlier qualification matches, Belgium dominated England 4-0 for their first ever Champions Trophy win, while Germany held off a determined New Zealand to win 6-4.

Story first published on: Saturday, 08 December 2012 11:22 IST

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