Austria and the Netherlands were the only teams to maintain their perfect records on day three at the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup in Pretoria, South Africa in both the men’s and women’s tournaments, so ensuring safe passage through to the quarterfinals.
Schedule | Fixtures and Results | Pools | TV Guide | Watch LIVE on DStv
As a mark of respect for the victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria, a moment of silence preceded the beginning of the day’s matches.
After being pushed all the way by hosts South Africa a day earlier, the Dutch women were back to their goal-blitzing best, putting eight past Australia for a third straight victory. The Dutch have conceded just one goal in three matches at the tournament so far.
“I’m really happy about how we played today,” said a relieved Netherlands captain Donja Zwinkels.
“Yesterday we had a really tough game against South Africa – the goals didn’t quite go in. But today as a team we really stepped up a level and the passing was higher and the movement was better,” added Zwinkels whose four goals against Australia saw her climbing to the top of the all-time top goalscorers list for the Dutch in World Cups and European Championships with 34.
The Austrian women had to come from 1-2 down to secure their 4-2 victory over New Zealand. Captain Miriam Gerö said a stern word from the coach after the first quarter made all the difference.
“I think the first quarter was hard for us because we had no structure. Our coach said we had to wake up and I think that was the key point. So, from the second quarter on we scored the goals and that was nice,” she said.
Equally thrilled with her team’s performance was Canadian captain Alison Lee whose side pulled off their first win of the tournament after two previous draws with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over the Czech Republic.
“Just to get the win was amazing but against the Czech puts it at another level,” she said. “We knew going in that they were top of our pool so for us coming from Canada to beat a team like Czech – we’re ecstatic right now.”
Belgium’s women also secured their first points of the tournament with a 5-2 win over Kazakhstan.
In the men’s tournament, Namibia made history by recording their first-ever World Cup win, and they did it in comprehensive fashion, beating Kazakhstan 6-2.
Captain and goalkeeper DJ Strauss put in a player-of-the-match performance.
“I see the ball and I stop it. I can’t really explain it – it’s just hard training after lots of years,” he explained. Speaking about his nation’s first-ever World Cup victory, Strauss added: “We are very proud, and ups to Kazakhstan – they gave us a great match.
“For me, I’ve been waiting 12 years to come back here because at the last World Cup [in 2011] it was a shock to us – we didn’t know what to do. A bad hockey experience but the best learning experience we could have had, and 12 years later we are competing at a much higher level.”
Meanwhile, Austria made it three wins from three by inflicting a first defeat of the tournament on Belgium. The defending champions were untroubled on their way to a clinical 5-1 victory. The Netherlands also notched up their third straight win, beating New Zealand 12-0, the largest winning margin of the tournament so far. Four of those Dutch goals were scored by man of the match Boris Burkhardt.
Earlier in the day, Iran’s Reza Norouzzadeh notched up a second consecutive hattrick in a 10-goal thriller against Australia. Jake Sherren claimed a hattrick of his own, but it was to no avail as his Aussie side went down 6-4.
Debutants Argentina were looking to continue their rip-roaring form with a third win in as many days when they took on the Czech Republic. After scoring from a penalty corner with just under three minutes remaining, it looked like they had done just that, only for Josef Trejbal to provide a final twist in the tale, slotting in the equaliser for the Czech Republic with less than 20 seconds on the clock to grab a 3-3 draw. Czech captain Martin Hanus was nevertheless disappointed with the result.
“It’s only a point which is disappointing for us, especially after yesterday and Sunday’s game… we need to be more effective up front because that’s a weakness of ours so far, but we are capable of scoring goals so we just need to bring it and then it will be fine,” he said.