The Netherlands beat spirited NZ 3-1

Updated: Mar 04, 2010, 08:35 AM IST

New Delhi: Title contenders The Netherlands
staved off New Zealand`s spirited resistance to record a 3-1
victory in their second Pool A match of the hockey World Cup
here tonight.

The Dutch, who had blanked Argentina 3-0 in their first
match on Monday, slammed three goals after New Zealand had
taken the lead in the opening minute of the match itself in
front of a handful of spectators at the floodlit Major Dhyan
Chand Stadium.

Both sides failed to add any goal in the second half
after the Netherlands led 3-1 at the breather.

For the Netherlands, Ronald Brouwer (2nd minute), Taeke
Taekema (7th) and Jeroen Hertzberger (27th) found the target
while Phillip Burrows (1st minute) scored for New Zealand.

The Netherlands earned five penalty corners in the match
while New Zealand got three. The Dutch now topped the Pool A
with six points from two wins.

The match was nicely set up with New Zealand sounding
the board as early as the opening minute through skipper
Phillip Burrows who had the faintest of a touch of a cross by
Steven Edwards.

In-form the Netherlands struck back immediately in the
next minute with Ronald Brouwer scoring after captain Teun de
Nooijer`s reverse stick shot was rebounded off goalkeeper Kyle
Pontifex. Star drag-flicker Taeke Taekema then gave the Netherlands
the lead by converting his side`s first penalty corner in the
seventh minute and in the process equalling his great
countryman Floris Jan Bovelander`s 17 World Cup goals. The
goal was Taekemas` fourth for four attempts in this World Cup.

A defensive blunder cost the Black Sticks dear as Dutch
forward Jeroen Hertzberger scored his side`s third goal in the
27th minute.

Veteran Dutch goalkeeper Guus Vogels was in the thick of
action twice in the first half. He first saved a Nicholas
Wilson shot in the 18th minute following a fine cross from
Ryan Archibald in front of the goal.

A minute before the breather, Vogels again blocked a shot
by New Zealand captain Phillip Burrows.

New Zealand regained some lost ground in the second
session which saw both the sides fighting on equal keel.

Star New Zealander Ryan Archibald missed the easiest of
chances in the 52nd minute as he connected a cross almost on
the goal-line only to see it out of the cage.

Six minutes later, a hard shot from Phillip Burrows hit
the near side post before hurting Wilson, who was waiting at
the far post. Wilson left the the pitch injured.

The Netherlands play their next match against Canada on
Friday while New Zealand take on South Korea on the same day.