If Argentina were responsible for the most impressive goal of the day, then the reigning world champions scored the fastest. The opening goal in the Netherlands versus Korea game came within 20 seconds of the start, one of the speediest goals in world cup history. And, as the goals rattled in over the course of the first half, this had all the makings of a record-breaking win too – currently something held by the former West Germany who beat Nigeria 10-1 in 1978.
The opener was scored by Frederique Matla, who was able to capitalise on some neat interchanges between her team mates to slot the ball past Bae Sora in the Korea goal.
The lead was doubled three minutes later as Lidewij Welten found her way through the Korea defence to open her World Cup account. Two circle enteries, two shots, two goals for the World Champions as they firmly lay down their intentions to retain thetitle.
Goals followed in quick succession, with Kitty van Male scoring twice, Matla adding a second and Laurien Leurink and Kelly Jonker all scoring before half-time. The Korea goalkeeper was removed after the fourth goal went in, but this was the Dutch team in unstoppable form and Bae’s replacement, Hwang Hyeon was also unable to stem the flow of goals.
It says something about the Netherlands approach to this game that they were back on the pitch after the half-time break long before the match was due to re-start. There was an air of simply wanting to get the job done. “I have kept the team meetings short leading up to this game. We’ve done our homework and know how we want to play. It’s part of the characteristics of this team. The play leading up to the goals was fantastic and some of the finishing was sensational” Said Alyson Annan, Netherlands Head Coach.
Despite the Netherland’s eagerness to get going in the second half, the third quarter was a quieter affair, as Korea adjusted to the pace and ferocity of the attack and marshalled their defence. The Netherlands were still creating chances but these were either hit wide, struck the post or were blocked on route to goal.
The final quarter was much the same. The Netherlands held possession and created chances but the high tempo and urgent nature of their earlier attack had dissipated. This was a case of job done for the reigning champions with plenty left in reserve.
“We wanted to push for a goal in each quarter,” said goal scorer Matla, “It didn’t quite work out that way but I am so pleased to have scored one of the fastest goals ever – I didn’t know.”
Images: Perspective Photography