Great Britain’s men jumped from fifth to third in the FIH Pro League with an impressive 3-1 victory over the Netherlands in Eindhoven as Michael Hoare won his 150th international cap.
Both sides got on the scoresheet inside the opening 15 minutes in what was a high intensity first-half with chances aplenty, Will Calnan striking first for Great Britain before Mink van der Weerden replied immediately after.
But goals from Sam Ward and Chris Griffiths within a minute of each other, separated by the break before the final quarter, were enough to earn the three points for a Great Britain side looking to secure a top four finish.
Great Britain started off on the front foot, Zach Wallace testing Pirmin Blaak in goal before a series of penalty corners were well defended by the Dutch side.
Their early dominance was made to tell as Calnan superbly slotted the ball past the keeper at the near post with a well struck reverse stick shot from a tight angle.
Just two minutes later and the Netherlands replied with one of their own, van der Weerden stroking the ball high into the net from a corner.
After an enthralling first-quarter, the next period started with the same attacking impetuous as David Condon came close only to be denied by a solid save.
Harry Gibson produced some important saves of his own, impressively preventing the hosts from taking the lead with a crucial right footed save from a drag flick.
Both sides were creating chances, Ward had a crack at goal but could only find the side netting as Great Britain enjoyed a good period of possession.
With only a few minutes remaining of an action packed first-half, Wallace brilliantly flashed the ball across the face of goal, however Chris Griffiths could only shoot wide from close range.
Bjorn Kellerman had the final clear-cut chance of the half but blazed over when through on goal.
The Dutch then wasted another clear chance in the following quarter, Mirco Pruijser striking the inside of the post when he looked certain to score with only George Pinner in goal to beat.
Ward wasn’t to miss when presented with an open net though as he slid the ball home after Adam Dixon rolled the ball into the D from the byline as Great Britain regained the lead with a stunning team goal.
The lead was extended in the first minute of the final-quarter, Griffiths firing an unstoppable rocket into the top corner with a reverse stick shot to put GB 3-1 up.
After going two goals to the good, Great Britain looked assured for the remainder of the match, though the Dutch had two penalty corners in the final couple of minutes, GB never looked in danger of losing their lead and will go into Thursday’s home clash against Germany full of confidence.