Due to the tenth Pro League victory of the Orange under Delmee, excluding two victories after shoot-outs, the first prize of national coach Jeroen Delmee is getting closer. Still no opponent has found an answer to the energetic ‘power hockey’ of the strongly rejuvenated Dutch national team.
The Orange paradoxically had a lackluster opening, initially barely came close to the German circle and after ten minutes faced a justified 1-0 deficit. And how simple can cashing in a penalty corner sometimes be.
Sweet Milk Escape
After a video referral, the tormentor of modern hockey, had identified a ‘shoot’ by Seve van Ass, Mats Grambusch struck mercilessly via an old-fashioned short corner. No stick stop, drag push or rehearsed corner variant. The German captain stopped the ball, closed his eyes and just rammed: 1-0.
After Christopher Rühr forgot to increase the margin on behalf of the fanatical Germany, Thijs van Dam decorated the first (and last) Dutch penalty corner early in the second quarter with a technical feat. This also went in, thanks to a well-aimed drag push by Bloemendaler Tim Swaen, his fourth goal in his seventh international match: 1-1.
Barely three minutes later, the Netherlands took the lead and what a gem of a goal Joep de Mol made. After Rühr had committed a foul deep in the Dutch half, De Mol made use of the self pass and took off with a Zoetemelk attack. The German defenders recognized the danger too late and saw De Mol hit hard with a low backhand: 1-2.
The creative duo Jorrit Croon and Steijn van Heijningen might be absent, but the guests continued to look for an inventive attack. It was Jip Janssen, for example, who scored the third Dutch goal by a hair’s breadth. Not from the head of the circle, with its dreaded drag corner, but with a tip-in. In the absence of a direct opponent, the wing defender had chosen the wide open sea as an accomplished striker and almost tipped in a cross from Thierry Brinkman.
Germany got three penalty corners in the third quarter to level the score again, but Gonzalo Peillat did not surprise Maurits Hendriks. Gonzalo Paillat? The Gonzalo Paillat who won Olympic gold with Argentina in 2016?
Yes, that Gonzalo Paillat. After arguing with the Argentinian electors and playing in Germany for six years, he was eligible for a German passport at the beginning of this year. The Argentinian received this in February, after which the FIH allowed him to represent his new homeland. Even though he already had 176 goals for Los Leones created. Weird sport sometimes, that hockey.
The brand new German had a large share in the 2-2 just before the end of the third quarter. After Thies Prinz had reached a penalty corner with a beautiful solo and De Mol then ran out too early, the Dutch corner defense only had to make do with three field players and a keeper. Paillat opted for a variant and saw the same Prinz tip the ball into the ropes.
The Netherlands, which failed to beat Germany in the last five meetings in regular time, faced a perilous fourth quarter. But thanks to a quick hit by the lid-headed striker Koen Bijen, on the advice of Dennis Warmerdam, morale was quickly back in the Delmee formation.
With the same unified cooperation, the two attackers could also have provided the German final blow, had it not been for the fact that Warmerdam went for his own success after a wonderful rush where he really should have played Bijen. That is usually screaming for trouble to Germans.
But at the seventh German corner, the Orange was only allowed to moor once, Visser was firmly on his post when Paillat hit the ball. Also against eleven field players, goalkeeper Alexander Stadler was taken to the side by the German national coach Henning, the Orange did not run into problems anymore.
The series of twelve unbeaten international matches at the start of a new national coach is unique in Orange history. Until the duel with the Germans in Hamburg, Delmee shared the record with Jules Ancion. In 1970, the ex-international’s team was also unbeaten in eleven games.
But at the European championship in Belgium things went wrong with the men of Ancion. The team with the later world champions Maarten Sikking, Jeroen Zweerts and the Spits brothers, Frans and Nico, in the ranks, lost the European Championship final 3-1 to West Germany on September 27, 1970.