The Netherlands wins European title in hockey championship
Just nine seconds before the end of the regular playing time, the Dutch hockey team scored the necessary goal against the Germans to call themselves European hockey champions again. The team led by coach Max Caldas triumphed after a shoot-out in the last minute.
The man of the hour was goalkeeper Pirmin Blaak who managed to ward off the attacks by the Germans several times and distinguished himself in shoot-outs.
The German players, Timur Oruz and Lukas Windfeder took a shot at Blaak unsuccessfully during the first quarter. On the Dutch side, two penalty corners also went wrong causing the score to remain at 0-0 by the end of the first quarter.
The Germans ended up in the lead after the second quarter with a 1-0 after a penalty shot by Christopher Rühr successfully evaded Blaak.
Team Oranje came back strong in the third quarter after Robbert Kemperman from the Dutch team managed to equalize the score again. The Dutch team thought they would be able to score 2-1 by the end of the third quarter, but the referee had already blown the whistle.
The atmosphere remained tense in the last quarter, although it was the German team who managed to score a goal four minutes before the end of the game. It seemed as if the Germans would take home the European title until the Netherlands was given a penalty corner nine seconds before the end of the game. The shot by Dutch player Jip Janssen was hit by the German goalkeeper yet still managed to fly into the goal.
Blaak stopped the second attempt by the Germans at a penalty score which led to the victory of the Dutch team.
It is the sixth time in history the Netherlands has won the European title in hockey. In 1983, 1987, 2007, 2015 and 2017 the Dutch were also crowned the winners of the European Hockey Championships. In 2019, Team Oranje settled for bronze. The win leaves the Dutch hockey team optimistic for the Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo.
On Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m., the Dutch women’s hockey team will play in the finale against Germany.