MOLLYMOOK’S Kalindi Commerford and her Hockeyroos' winning start to the 2018 Women's Champions Trophy has come to an end at the hands of the top-ranked Netherlands 3-nil, in Changzhou on Tuesday night.
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After a goalless opening 15 minutes, the Dutch broke the game open with two second quarter goals from Marijn Veen and Caia van Maasakker.
Australia spurned their chance to get back into the game when Jodie Kenny's 40th minute penalty stroke was saved by Dutch goalkeeper Anne Veenendaal.
The Netherlands sealed the victory in the first minute of the last period when Ginella Zerbo finished a neat move.
Australia, who remain second on the standings, are next in action on Thursday against hosts China PR from 7pm AEDT.
The Netherlands dominated the statistics count, with 13-1 shots, 7-1 penalty corners and 25-6 circle entries and Hockeyroos coach Paul Gaudoin acknowledged they were too good.
“They showed why they’re the best in the world, we tried to challenge them but they’re very, very good,” Gaudoin said.
“We were disappointed with our performance but we’ll learn a lot from it.”
After an uneventful opening quarter, the Dutch took the lead in the 21st minute after a goalmouth scramble where Kalindi Commerford couldn’t clear her lines, allowing Veen to swoop from close range.
The Dutch doubled their lead in the 28th minute when they won a penalty stroke from a short corner after Xan de Waard drove to the baseline and cut back to find Maartje Krekelaar whose goalbound shot was blocked by Jane Claxton’s foot on the line.
Van Maasakker stepped up from the resultant penalty stroke and made no mistake to Rachael Lynch’s left.
Australia finally got their first circle entry in the final minute of the first half, but 50-gamer Maddy Fitzpatrick’s shot was blocked.
The Dutch raced down the other end and almost made it three, when Maxime Kerstholt’s pass found an unmarked Maria Verschoor who fluffed her chance.
Substitute goalkeeper Ash Wells made a series of good saves from Dutch third quarter penalty corners before Australia found a route back into the match in the 40th minute.
Stephanie Kershaw drove forward and was bundled over inside the D by Lauren Stam. Australia called for a referral which was retained, earning the Hockeyroos a penalty stroke.
However, Kenny’s effort high to Veenendaal’s right was well saved to ensure it remained 2-nil.
Zerbo made it 3-nil in the 46th minute after a nice one-two with Verschoor, firing past Wells with an angled effort.
Wells contained the damage when she saved with her outstretched left leg from Margot van Geffen’s effort too.
The Morwell shot-stopper made late saves from Veen and Verschoor to keep it at 3-nil.
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