Netherlands win Hero Hockey World League Semi-Finals in London

Valentin Verga

Valentin Verga scored a brace as the Netherlands stormed to a 6-1 victory over Argentina in the Hero Hockey World League final in London.

Further strikes from Thijs Van Dam, Robbert Kemperman, Mirco Pruijser and Thierry Brinkmann rounded off an impressive performance from the Dutch who controlled the game from start to finish.

It was a tough afternoon for reigning Olympic champions Argentina who struggled to find their feet in the contest, meeting a Dutch side full of confidence who turned on the style at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

Reflecting on the win in London, Verga said: "It's a place that has given me really good memories. I played my first Olympics here in 2012, the first time I won a European tournament was in London in 2015 and now this!

"It feels like home! The support from the crowd was great to see and a lot of people came out to watch." 

Argentina created the game’s first chance inside two minutes but the Dutch were soon into their stride and dominated the opening quarter. Verga exchanged passes at the top of the circle before teeing himself up and smashing a volley into the bottom right corner to give the Netherlands an early lead.

The confident Dutch side owning the ball and Argentina had little answer and the lead was soon doubled. Jorrit Croon made a darting run down the right before crossing to Verga who deflected home on his reverse as the Netherlands marched on imperiously.

Their dominance continued into the second quarter with Bjorn Kellerman and Billy Bakker both going close and just before the half-time break Van Dam pounced on a loose ball to flick his side into a 3-0 lead.

In the third quarter the Netherlands put the game beyond any doubt as strong strikes from Kemperman and Pruijser proved too hot for Vivaldi in the Argentina goal, the dutch taking a 5-0 lead into the final fifteen minutes.

Brinkmann made it six in the closing minutes before Matias Paredes grabbed a consolation goal for Argentina two minutes from time.