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Three-time champions Netherlands opened their campaign with a dominating 4-0 win over tentative Malaysia in the Pool C fixture of the Hockey World Cup at the Birsa Munda Stadium here on Saturday.
Earlier, New Zealand overcame the spirited debutant Chile 3-1 but not before surviving some anxious moments in the last quarter of the game.
The Dutch scored 2 goals in each half to earn 3 points. Van Dam, Jip Janssen, Teun Beins and Jorrit Croon scored a goal each for the winners.
The former champions played to a plan and started attacking the rival citadel from the very start, thus, putting pressure on the Malaysian defence. They created a opening in the middle of the first quarter but Janssen muffed the chance.
It took the Dutch 20 minutes to take the lead through Van Dam, who latched on to a ball near the circle and with a powerful shot send the ball into the cage (1-0).
Few minutes later, they increased the lead when Malaysian defenders fouled Jonas de Geus in the circle and umpire whistled for a stroke. Janseen made no mistake in converting it (2-0) .
Malaysia managed to earn a penalty corner in the 28th minute but Fazal Saari’s flick was wide and on the rebound Dutch goal keeper brought off a fine save.
The first 30 minutes belonged to the former champions who had 15 circle penetration against thee by Malaysia in that period.
Then the Malaysians regrouped in the third quarter and went into attack .They created some good opening but their strikers turned out to be poor marksmen. The Dutch defence came under pressure and conceded two back-to-back penalty corners but Malaysians could not convert them.
The Dutchmen regained their control over the proceedings in the last quarter and increased the lead through a penalty corner conversion by young Teun Beins (3-0) This was Teun’s first goal at the senior level.
The Malaysian put up a dis-jointed display in this quarter and allowed their rivals a free run in the mid field. Just before the final whistle Jorrit Croon scored the fourth goal for his side as the Dutch sealed the match.
In the first match of the day, riding on striker Sam Hiha’s brace New Zealand overcame debutant Chile 3-1 .
Sam Lane was the other goal scorer for the Kiwis. However, the highlight of this match turned out to be goal scored by Chilean striker Contardo Ignacio in the 49th minute.
In the process Ignacio earned the distinction of being the first ever goal getter for Chile in the World Cup.
New Zealand playing in their 11th World Cup, with the Odisha event being their seventh in succession started aggressively and looked like overrunning Chile who were playing their first ever match in this global tournament
The Black Sticks took ten minutes to go into the lead with Sam Lane cutting through the rival defence to send ball home (1-0.)
A minute later Sam Hiha made a superb dash beating couple of defenders and sent the ball into the cave giving on rushing goalkeeper Adrian Henriquez no chance to clear it (2-0).
However, Chileans showed no sign of being overawed by their fancied rivals and tried to counter attack and earned a penalty corner but could not beat experienced goal keeper Leon Hayward.
The Kiwis pumped in their third goal in the third minute of the second quarter again through Sam Hiha and it looked that Chileans were in for a thrashing.
The Chileans came up with a strong showing in the third quarter and they not only defended their citadel well but made few incisive counter moves.
It was in the last quarter that the Kiwis came under attack and conceded a goal and Ignacio’s celebration after scoring it stole the limelight. (1-3) Chile kept up the pressure and forced a penalty corner in the 57th minute but could not make use of it.
Though Kiwis collected full 3 points but were clearly rattled by the unexpected resistance from Chile.