The Netherlands punish Argentina 3-0 in Champions Trophy
Bhubaneswar, Dec 6: The Netherlands produced a fine 3-0 win over Argentina in the opening match of Pool B of the Hero Hockey Champions Trophy at the Kalinga Stadium here.
The Dutch team was awarded five penalty corners in the first quarter but only scored on one occasion. Mink van der Weerden's drag-flick found the net in the 12th minute, earlier Manu Brunet had saved a van der Weerden flick on the line.
Argentina also had their chances to score, for instance when Lucas Vila received a running pass from skipper Matias Paredes but could not defeat Pirmin Blaak in the Dutch goal.
Holland, silver medallists in the 2012 Olympic and 2014 World Cup, eventually doubled their lead in the second quarter when Robbert Kemperman converted a beautiful pass from Sander Baart with a reverse stick strike in the 19th minute.
Argentina, who surprised by taking the bronze medal at the World Cup, fought hard to get back into the game but Blaak kept them out.
With 11 minutes to go, Diede van Puffelen scored his first goal in his senior career, securing a deserved 3-0 victory for the Max Caldas-coached side.
"I think it was very comfortable, especially in the first three quarters. In the fourth quarter, we looked a little bit tired and the game opened up when it didn't really have to but I think we were in control the whole time," coach Caldas said.
"We had four guys on zero caps. Every one of them played really well and I think they will never forget playing in a hockey country like India and making their debut so I was pleased with them all."
In their next match, the Dutch will face 2008 and 2012 Olympic champions Germany, while the Carlos Retegui-coached Argentina will take on India.