The 2-0 win for th Dutch  today with goals from  Kim Lammers and Carlijn Welten against Korea was not enough to knock out the Asian team currently eigth in the world rankings. The dutch will contest the final for the ninth time and for the Koreans  its only their third appearance in the final. The Koreans  entered the game knowing they would  make the final if they could avoid being beaten by more than a two goal margin. in  but never showed any signs of panic .


Kim Lammers opened the Netherlands acoount after a mere 25 seconds  and Carlijn Welten scored on twenty nine monutes but even after the dream start the Koreans never gave ground and had a number of near misses with Floortje Engels in nets enjoying help from lady luck when a certain winner rebounded harmlessly off the post but also pulling of one of her text book fine saves. In what was otherwise an eventless rest of the half Engels again pulled off a fine save to keep a clean sheet.

Floortje has had a great season for her club Amsterdam

Despite missed chances for both sides in the second half the win was for the Dutch who go into the final undefeated with , curoiusly Korea having recorded only one win  and go through on goal differnces over the current world champions. Ominously Korea, with the Netherland’s  Maartje Paumen on target so often ,  have not actually scored from a single penalty corner out of the twenty one the Trophy has offered  them so far.

Kim Lammers, on club duty for Laren,  opened the scoring with a mere 25 seconds on the clock today.

For me the  appranetly sudden emergence of Korea as finalists was the surprise of the tournament. Clearly  the Oranje Dames  coach, ex Argentine international Max Caldas has very speedily restored to the Dutch their  old spirit and winning ways,  having taken the reins with the shock departure of Herman Kruis  immediatley after the world cup in Rosario (which was the second major defeat for the Duch last year  after losing to the world champions  Trophy final at Nottingham aginst Argentina .)   Argentina had regrouped , introduced new players successfully and stepped up their training regimes ,  benifiting from  the stability and continuity of still having coach Carlos Retegui in post. Australia also were looking for me a certainty to challenge for the medals, as seemed England,  but with Australia,  new coach Alan Commens has done extraordinary great work firing up a rebuilt team and integrating a handful of talented younsgter international debutants in just over six months.  New Zealand’s coach must also take great credit for his efforts in bringing on the Black Sticks  because at the Trophy lasy year , despite that gutsy draw against the English side of Dan Kerry,  they took the wooden spoon.

Max Caldas, Netherlands Head Coach

Reported today, Max Caldas was as usual in no mood for complacency . He acknoweledged the Koreans were a formidable opponent and that the final was no less attractive and exciting a prospect might have been the much anticiapted show down Classico between the Dutch and  Argentina who didn;t make the cut simply by virtue of the maths. Following the win today Max told the media, ” South Korea is a top team, no one should underestimate them. We don’t  anyway, but the press and public should not do either.” he warned. ‘At the Olympics in Beijing they were perhaps a bit disappointing, but since then they are got  a lot better. ” he continued .  “they were always quick and disciplined , but now they dare to actually play hockey and are very strong tactically. Previously it was always all or nothing with them, but they can also play a game in such a way that they caninfluence the result. Previously against us they threw the match in the last quarter but now they can  control that now too. ”

Asked whehter he expected a similar show tomorrow as today Caldas remarked, ” tomorrow is the final  and we are playing for a prize and that makes it a very different game” and  when asked what his plan was for the final , he replied dryly ” that is for you  to see tomorrow”


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