Maartje Paumen scored a hat-trick to help her team recover from a 3-0 deficit to tie the match, before two goal-less periods of extra time lead to the first penalty shoot-out in Champions Trophy history. Carla Rebecchi, Luciana Aymar and Daniela Sruoga were all denied by Dutch shot-stopper Joyce Sombroek, which proved to be enough to give The Netherlands their first Champions Trophy since 2007, denying Argentina a fourth title in a row.
It was a brilliant day for The Netherlands, who also collected three of the six additional prizes in the closing ceremony. Team captain Maartje Paumen (above) collected the Rabo Cup for the Best Player of the Tournament as well as the Shell Top Scorer awards, while Willemijn Bos was named as the Volvo Most Promising Player of the tournament.
Argentina’s Belen Succi (above)was given the Heineken Cup for Best Goalkeeper, while Zhao Yudiao was given the Adidas Goal of the Tournament Award. The England team was named as the winners of the BDO Trophy for Fair Play.
Delighted Netherland coach Max Caldas said in the post match Press Conference: "They scored three goals with their first three chances, but the girls stayed cool. The 3-1 goal turned the game around for us, it was the difference … I think the public was the winner in this match they got to see a fantastic game. Luckily we won."
"When we went down 3-1 we also went down mentally", said Argentina’s world cup winning coach Carlos Retegui. "That will happen, especially since we had a very young team here in Holland."
Argentina captain Luciana Aymar was obviously disappointed with the outcome. "We had a good start in the first half, but when they put in the 3-1 goal it was hard for us. In the second half they played well, ran us hard and we got tired."
The match itself was an absolute cracker, with a huge crowd and vocal packing the Wagener Stadium to watch the action. The home crowd were silenced after just 17 seconds when Carla Rebecchi took advantage of a sleepy Dutch defence and scored with ease, before a penalty corner tap in from Luciana Aymar gave the Netherlands plenty to worry about. When Argentina hit a third through Daniela Sruoga it was clear that the loyal fans feared the worst, but Netherlands captain Maartje Paumen became an inspirational force both to her team-mates and supporter with a wonderful penalty corner flick just before half time.
With Argentina taking a 3-1 lead into the second half, it seemed that they had some breathing space. However, The Netherland were determined to salvage the match and soon pulled another goal back. Paumen was again the scorer, deceiving Succi with a stunning penalty corner flick which generated a huge roar of excitement from the stands. However, an even bigger cheer arrived when Paumen slammed home the equalizer in the fight back in the 48 th minute.
Argentina spent most of the last 20 minutes of the game on the back foot, but thanks largely to the excellent goalkeeping of Belen Succi, full time came with the scores locked at 2-2. Two periods of Golden Goal Extra Time also finished goal-less, although Paumen went close to sealing victory with two penalty corner attempts.
The penalty shoot-out competition was started by Argentina’s Soledad Garcia, who made no mistake before Willemijn Bos levelled things up for The Netherlands. However, a miss from Carla Rebecchi was punished by Eva de Goede’s stunning strike from the top of the circle. When Argentina’s Luciana Aymar also missed, Maartje Paumen had the chance to create a 3-1 advantage in the shoot-out, and showed a cool head to do just that. Delfina Merino kept her side in the competition by scoring from her chance, and miss from Carlijn Dirkse van den Heuvel gave Argentina a glimmer of hope.
However, the match was won when Joyce Sombroek saved the effort of Daniela Sruoga, giving The Netherlands their first Champions Trophy title since 2007.
Afterwards Joyce remarked" "A shoot-out is even more of a psychological game between striker and goalkeeper. A penalty stroke is very static, the role of the goalkeeper is quite small. Now you have more chance. If you come quickly, you can make a difference." aymar admitted that this was the first time she had taken such a shootout and that it was something the team were new to and had not practiced."
(all images courtesy of john coxon )
BDO Trophy for Fair Play: England
Heineken Cup (Best Goalkeeper): Belen Succi (ARG)
Shell Topscorer: Maartje Paumen (NED)
Volvo Most Promising Player of the Tournament: Willemijn Bos (NED)
Adidas Goal of the Tournament: Zhao Yudiao (CHN)
Rabo Cup for the Best Player of the Tournament: Maartje Paumen (NED)
photo Getty Images