Netherlands close in on third Olympic Games in a row

12 Apr. 2024

Netherlands close in on third Olympic Games in a row

Even for the great teams, a 12-goal half-time deficit is almost impossible to overturn and so it was the case for Czechia as they suffered their second loss in as many days in Torrevieja, losing by 14 goals to the Netherlands.

The result means that should Spain beat Argentina in the late game on Friday, it will be the host nation and the team in orange who will have booked their tickets through to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games with a matchday remaining.

Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournament #2
Netherlands vs Czechia 32:18 (18:6)

Against Argentina on Thursday, Per Johansson’s Netherlands side found themselves 0:5 down after just five minutes and wondering what had hit them.

Against Czechia on Friday, it was a completely different story, the Dutch going ahead 5:0 themselves (8th minute) and causing the first time out of the game as Czechia’s Norwegian coach Bent Dahl used the pause to remind his team of their gameplan.

“I was looking at the score and I thought this is much better than yesterday,” said Netherlands’ Lois Abbingh to after the game. “We started really good and were not in danger from the start. I am also proud that we kept it going. For 60 minutes we didn't slow down and it was a really good job from the team.”

Abbingh and her Dutch side were in no mood to step back, extending their lead to 7:0 by the 10th minute before Marketa Jerabkova finally opened the scoring for her Czechia side in the 11th minute.

However, Czechia’s technical faults, turnovers – 11 in the first half in total – and lack of effectiveness in front of goal, thanks in part to hummel Player of the Match Yara Ten Holte, were killing them, as Netherlands extended their lead to eight (10:2, 15th minute) and then 10 (14:4) just after the 20th minute thanks to the ever-impressive Dione Housheer.

By the end of the half, the Dutch, cheered on by a packed section of their fans inside the Palacio de los Deportes de Torrevieja, had extended it to 12, Czechia had scored just six and the game was over as a contest.

A 27% shot efficiency rating (six scored from 22 shots) highlighted the issues facing them and by the end of the game it had only risen to 37%, complete with 18 turnovers.

Now, the Dutch – dancing to their unofficial anthem of ‘Links Rechts’ from Snollebollekes – at the final buzzer, wait and hope that they can celebrate a Paris 2024 ticket later tonight.

“We’re really big Spain fans now,” said Netherlands’ Lois Abbingh to after the game about the possibility of the Olympic ticket. “I guess everybody will watch it together, we will go to the hotel now and eat, but then we put the game on and we will cheer for Spain and hopefully we can celebrate a little bit tonight.

“[If it does happen tonight] it would be amazing. I get goosebumps when I think about it. Especially today I really realised how close we are and now we're even more closer so it [would be] amazing to go for the third time so I'm really hoping that today we already know the answer.”

hummel Player of the Match: Yara Ten Holte (Netherlands)