Netherlands come close to breaking record against Kazakhstan

11 Dec. 2021

Netherlands come close to breaking record against Kazakhstan

The reigning champions at the 25th IHF Women’s World Championship, the Netherlands, secured their fourth win in five games with a clear-cut performance against Kazakhstan, 61:15.

The Netherlands will now have to sweat in their final game in main round’s Group II in Castelló, against Norway, to earn their quarter-final berth.

Kazakhstan vs Netherlands 15:61 (9:27)

Down in the Dutch corner in the Pabellón Ciutat de Castelló, the fans were smiling, all wearing their traditional orange-clad shirts, despite Kazakhstan choosing the orange shirts and the Netherlands taking to the court in their alternate blue equipment.

While the choices were entirely down to the teams, the loyal Dutch fans had everything to cheer for, as their favourites made another step to the quarter-finals at Spain 2021, with a no-nonsense win against the Asian side.

It was clear from the start that the Netherlands were going to win big, a clear objective for the reigning world champions, who are locked in a battle with Norway and Sweden for one of the two quarter-final berths, with the goal difference playing an important role in the head-to-head battle.

Therefore, the Netherlands started strong and never looked back, as left wing Bo van Wetering and right back Dione Housheer each scored six goals, leaving Kazakhstan no chance whatsoever.

Goalkeeper Tess Wester also produced one of her best games at Spain 2021, saving 11 shots for an outstanding 55% saving efficiency in the first half, while the high-octane Dutch attack, basically trademarked at this point at the 25th IHF Women’s World Championship, posted a 77% efficiency.

There was no surprise when the difference ballooned and, by half-time, the Netherlands had a 27:9 lead, one which was not enough to overcome Sweden’s effort from the first four games (+73).

Surely, the Netherlands knew that they leapfrogged the Scandinavian side on points, as the reigning world champions are now leading the group with seven points – one more than Norway and two more than Sweden – before the game featuring the two powerhouses, which follows later today in Castelló.

But with that clear goal in mind, nothing was stopping Monique Tijsterman’s side to pounce harder in the second half, with their impressive attack exposing every flaw of Kazakhstan’s permissive defence.

As van Wetering outscored the entire Kazakhstan team by herself, finishing the match with 18 goals, Housheer chimed in with 13 goals of her own and dished 12 assists to lift the Netherlands to a 61:15 win.

It was the largest win at Spain 2021 and the second-largest win in history in the competition, only two goals shy of the all-time record set by Hungary, 57:8 against Australia at Russia 2005.

The record for the largest number of goals scored in a game at the IHF Women’s World Championship also stood still, with Sweden’s 66 goals against Australia at China 2009 not under scrutiny in this game.

The Netherlands will face a do-or-die clash against Norway on Monday and while the reigning champions did not ensure their quarter-final berth yet, their win means that Romania are now out of contention to progress to the knock-out phase at Spain 2021, following Kazakhstan and Puerto Rico on that path.

On the other side, Kazakhstan, who already have one win in the competition – in the preliminary round against the Islamic Republic of Iran – circled their last game in the main round, against Puerto Rico, to add to their tally.

hummel Player of the Match: Tess Wester, Netherlands

Photo: RFEBM / Á. Bermejo