The Netherlands successfully defended their European title by winning gold at the 2019 EuroHockey Championships. By winning the tournament the nation has also qualified to the Olympics. Eight nations competed in two group with the top two advancing to the semi-finals. The EuroHockey Championships was held in Antwerp, Belgium from August 16th to August 25th.
Despite drawing Belgium and Spain 1-1 in its first two matches the Netherlands still advanced out of Pool A as the second placed team thanks to a 14-0 drubbing of Russia. Spain won the group thanks to a 1-0 win over Belgium during the final game of the pool. This left Belgium as the third place team.
Pool B had England doing just enough to win the group with 2-1 victory over Ireland and 1-1 draw against Germany and a 4-3 win over Belarus. The final spot to the semi-finals was decided between Germany and Ireland. Germany scored on the eighth minute to take the lead, but Ireland answered back before the end of the quarter. Needing a win to advance Ireland was unable to breakdown Germany as no more goals were scored. This allowed Germany to advance with one win and two draws.
One semi-final contained a blowout where the Netherlands crushed England 8-0 to be given an opportunity to defend its European title. The other match saw Spain take a 1-0 lead shortly before the end of the first quarter, but Germany got the tying goal before half-time. The match was deadlocked at two all going into the final minute where Nike Lorenz scored the winning goal to give Germany a 3-2 victory.
The final saw the Netherlands score the first goal during the first quarter in a very defensive match where the second goal was scored during the final seconds of the game to give the Netherlands the title and Olympic quota with a 2-0 victory over Germany. The bronze medal was won by Spain who defeated England in penalties 3-2 after the two nations drew 1-1.
This is the Netherlands’ tenth overall title. The nation will be looking to win gold at the Olympics after finishing runners-up in 2016. Other European nations will have one more opportunity to qualify to the Olympics at the final Olympic qualifier to be held later this year. The EuroHockey Championships concludes tomorrow with the women’s final.