Three-time champions Netherlands on Tuesday mauled lower-ranked Canada 5-0 in the final cross-over match to set up a quarterfinal clash against hosts India in the men’s hockey World Cup, here.
Dominating the proceedings, Netherlands scored five field goals through Lars Balk (16th minute), Robert Kemperman (20th), Thijs van Dam (40th, 58th) and Thierry Brinkman (41st) to register the comfortable win at the Kalinga Stadium.
Netherlands will now play India in the last-eight round on Thursday.
In the match between World No. 4 Netherlands and World No.11 Canada, the Dutch were early aggressor as they made continuous forays.
The Canadians, on the other hand, preferred to sit back and defend while looking for counters to surprise their opponents.
Canadian goalkeeper Andrew Charter too made a number of brilliant saves to keep his side in the hunt.
The Netherlands’ first chance came in the ninth minute but Charter came out of his line to pull off brilliant save and deny Bob de Voogd.
Seven seconds from the first quarter Netherlands earned their first penalty corner but Mink van der Weerden’s attempt sailed over the goal.
After 15 minutes of resistance, Canada’s resolute defence finally broke down seconds into the second quarter when an unmarked Lars Balk sliding try from Glenn Schuurman’s pass found the back of the net past Charter.
Seconds later, Netherlands got a golden chance to double their lead when they were awarded a penalty stroke but Charter once again came to his side’s rescue to keep away Jeroen Hertzberger’s try.
The Netherlands, however, doubled their lead in the 20th minute through Robert Kemperman, who slap shot from the top of the circle found the Canadian net for the second time in the game.
Canada’s James Wallace feeble try from close range was then easily parried away by Dutch goalkeeper Pirmin Blaak.
Chances came thick and fast for the Netherlands as Thierry Brinkman was the next to be denied by Charter before the Canadian goalie pulled off another fine save to keep away Hertzberger’s reverse hit.
The Dutch resumed the second half at the same pace and continued to mount attacks on the opposition goal and in the process secured back-to-back penalty corners in the 38th minute but the chances went wasted.
The Netherlands tripled their lead in the 40th minute Van Dam scored from a rebound after Seve van Ass’s initial shot was saved by Canada keeper Charter.
A minute later, the Dutchmen extended their lead when Brinkman pushed in an open goal after being set up by Kemperman, who beat three Canadian defenders with his brilliant stick work.
After wasting another penalty corner, Netherlands made the scoreline 5-0 in their favour two minutes from full time through Van Dam’s second goal of the day.