Hockey World Cup 2018: 3 Reasons why Netherlands won against Malaysia
Three-time Champions Netherlands began their campaign in the 2018 Hockey World Cup on an astonishing note.
Riding on the imperious confidence of their attacking midfielders and forwards, the Dutch hammered Malaysia by a remarkable 7-0 margin at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
The opening encounter in Pool D turned out to be a one-sided affair as the Netherlands imposed their will on a feeble Malaysian outfit.
Goals from Jeroen Hertzberger, Mirco Pruijser, Mink van der Weerden, Robbert Kemperman and Thierry Brinkman propelled the Dutch to a tone-setting 7-0 triumph.
Here are three reasons why the Netherlands proved to be too strong for Malaysia.
#3 Fast-paced hockey exposes Malaysian defence
Malaysia's strength lies in their ability to surprise the opposition's defence with sharp counter-attacks.
With the Dutch retaining possession for the vast majority of the encounter, the Tigers' midfielders appeared bereft of ideas.
The Netherlands arrived into the match with a definite strategy. Realising Roelant Oltmans' familiarity with their strengths and weaknesses, they nonchalantly increased their intensity and attacked relentlessly right from the start.
Such a fast-paced style of hockey has always been a quagmire for Asian teams. This match was no exception.
Malaysia's defenders were left scrambling while trying to read the Dutch attackers. Even their experienced players seemed shell-shocked at the back line. It was only a matter of time before the desperation at the back trickled over to scoring chances.
Instead of taking on a rare penalty corner himself, Razie Rahim's bizarre decision to flick the ball to Firhan Ashaari gave a glimpse of Malaysia's rattled mindset at the early stages of the game.