The men’s 2022-23 FIH Hockey Pro League season, which kicked off in October last year, came down to a final thrilling title decider between Belgium and the Netherlands in Antwerp. And defending champions Netherlands won the trophy again with a 4-2 win. The win took the Netherlands to the top of the season with 35 points.
Meanwhile, in the evening, it was another tough match between the Belgium and Dutch women’s sides. But already crowned FIH Hockey Pro League champions Netherlands won 2-1. They finished their campaign with 46 points after 15 wins, and only one shootout loss to Australia. The Belgians have one game left against the USA on Wednesday. A win there would leapfrog Germany into fourth place.
Both umpires in the second match wore black armbands as a tribute to Scottish performance program manager Derek Forsyth.
(Women) Belgium vs Netherlands 1-2
Just like their previous meeting three days ago, a tough first half saw no goals. Both sides looked dangerous on the counter-attack and both created plenty of chances. But the turning point came in the third quarter – and it was the lead. A great solo strike from Delphine Marion saw her dribble past the Dutch defense and into the goal.
Some poor discipline in the final seconds of the quarter cost the home side, however, as they conceded a penalty corner to equalize in the left corner, allowing Yippie Johnson to add to the tally. Janssen then found what proved to be the winner for the Dutch, who headed back another penalty corner. This took Johnson to 14 goals in the competition this season, leading the goalscorers list.
While Belgium threw everything in the final minutes of the match, the Dutch defense held firm as the FIH Hockey Pro League champions signed off their season with a 2-1 win.
Margot van Geffen was named man of the match, adding: „They defended really well and their coach [Raoul Ehren] He knows us well. So it was tough and a tough fight, but I’m happy that we won twice and we won the Pro League and ended up with two wins after that. I am very proud of the team that we were able to finish strong.
(Men) Belgium vs Netherlands 2-4
With so much on the line, it’s always going to be a fiery, fast-paced conflict. Belgium’s Jan-Jan Dohmann equaled Dutchman Dean de Nooyger’s all-time appearance record with 453 runs.rd The hat did not disappoint.
The Belgians looked a different side to the side beaten 6-1 by the same opposition three days earlier. A rare defensive error from Arthur de Slover saw him slip and lose control of the ball allowing Thijs van Damme to pounce and blast home the Netherlands’ opener. Alex Hendricks missed a penalty corner in the second quarter, his powerful drive past the right post player. But Jip Janssen put his side back in front with a Dutch penalty corner and Thierry Brinkmann fired them further in front with a simple tap-in.
Within the first minute of the second half, Hendricks pulled one back for Belgium on another penalty corner. Even when their attack was relentless, they couldn’t find the balance. Instead, Boris Burghardt pushed the Dutch lead out to two goals when he scored from a millimeter inside the circle to seal the eventual 4-2 victory – and with it, the FIH Hockey Pro League trophy.
Jip Janssen was named man of the match and said: “I think the last game gave us a lot of confidence, we were fresh and we had a lot more energy in our legs than when they played yesterday. We know if we bring that energy we’ll be the winner of the tournament and that’s a good feeling.
To view current standings in the FIH Hockey Pro League, Click here.
FIH Pro League – 4 July 2023
Sports Center Wilrijkse Plein – Antwerp (BEL)
Result: Women’s Match 71
Belgium 1-2 Netherlands
Athlete: Margot Van Geffen (NED)
Referees: Alison Keogh (IRL), Michael Otten (NED), Irene Presenqui (ARG-Video)
Result: Men’s Match 71
Belgium 2-4 Netherlands
Man of the Match: Zip Janssen (NED)
Referees: Martin Madden (SCO), Sarah Wilson (SCO) Alison Keogh (IRL-Video)
„Całkowity introwertyk. Nieprzejednany specjalista od sieci. Przyjazny fanatyk bekonu. Student ekstremalnych. Miłośnik piwa. Organizator.”