Notwithstanding its 1-2 defeat to Korea in the last pool match on Tuesday, the Netherlands team was happy that it made the semifinals of the hockey World Cup after a gap of eight years.
Dutch coach Michel van del Heuvel said the Netherlands did not have a good grip over the game. “We did not balance the game — the running game and the control game. We did not hold the ball well enough and our control was not well,” he said.
van del Heuvel did not agree that the loss to Korea would have any bearing on his team in the semifinals against Australia.
Captain Teun de Nooijer said the Netherlands missed a few chances and could not manage a draw. “In the World Cup, you cannot win every game and we could not today,” he said.
The Korean side showed its big heart even after missing out on a semifinal berth on the basis of goal difference. “We played better, but congratulations to the Netherlands,” said coach Seok Kyo Shin.
Shin said his team could not prepare well for the World Cup. “In the winter, there was heavy snowfall in Korea and our players could not train well. Had they trained well, you would have seen a better performance,” he said.
Germany's 5-2 win against New Zealand was not as one-sided as the scoreline suggested. Understandably, German captain Max Muller was not 100 percent happy with the showing. “The important thing was we reached the semifinals,” he said.
Muller said his young side had the ability to withstand the pressure when the Black Sticks narrowed down the score to 3-2.
“It was a mental thing. Our performance was 20 percent down and they fought back. Then we made the turnaround,” he said.
On the beautiful penalty corner variations adopted by his team, Muller said, “I am happy with it. We had trained a lot.”
Muller was not worried about which team Germany would play in the semifinals. “Australia has better strikers while England is a better team with good defence,” he said.
Dean Couzins, who led New Zealand on Tuesday, said Germany was the better side. “They had more chances and they deserved to win. We could not keep the momentum after making it 2-3,” he said.