(Photo: © Wolfgang Sternberger)

Netherlands claimed the 2007 BDO Hockey Champions Trophy, women title after defeating host Argentina here in Quilmes on Sunday. An early goal of Maartje Paumen was enough for the World Champion to take another title home (1-0). Germany claimed the bronze medal after a 2-0 victory over Australia.


World Champion Netherlands was just stronger than Argentina in the grand final of the tournament. And the undefeated Dutch team quickly made their intention clear to stay undefeated here in Quilmes, shocking the stadium that today accommodated even more enthusiastic fans than on any previous day with an early goal after only three minutes as Maartje Paumen converted a penalty corner.


The match continued with the Leonas doing a bigger part of the legwork but they, like the Hockeyroos before them, had trouble finding their form and suffered from the many individual mistakes that broke down their play time and again. The Dutch on the other hand boldly emphasized why they are considered the best women’s team in the world at the moment, playing disciplined, tactical, and efficient hockey.


The early Dutch goal remained the only one in the first half and the teams went into halftime with the World Champions one step ahead.


In the second half, Argentina dominated field play with a much bigger percentage in ball possession, attacking again and again, but again and again they hit the Dutch defense like a wall. Ten minutes from the end, the Netherlands changed gear and showed some offensive action of their own again, but to no avail.


One goal was once more enough for the Netherlands however, and with a 1:0 win over hosts Argentina, they took the title in this BDO Hockey Champions Trophy Women, Quilmes 2007.


The final day of the BDO Champions Trophy Women, Quilmes 2007, started with Japan and Spain playing out the relegation match, with the defeated team to be excluded from the 2008 edition of the top annual tournament in hockey.


Japan did not start as strong as in yesterday’s encounter between the two, but still had slight advantages in the field. Spain had the better opportunities however, in the form of a total 11 penalty corners in the first half, none of which could be converted. The somewhat uneventful first 35 minutes ended with the scoreboard still at 0:0.


When the two teams returned for the second half, the atmosphere of the match gradually changed, with Japan improving continuously and taking charge of the match, producing a number of excellent shots on goal which might well have taken the tally to four or five. As it was, there were only two goals for Japan however, with a double hit at the hands of Rika Komazawa, first deflecting a penalty corner hit by Keiko Miura, then skilfully hitting a bouncy ball across into the roof of the goal.


Spain meanwhile were increasingly caught up in combating their desperation rather than playing the game. This development was epitomized by a yellow card awarded to Rocio Ybarra after she clubbed the goalpost in frustration when Japan were awarded a penalty corner in the 63rd minute.


With the clock ticking down, Spain no longer offered much resistance, and Japan pushed the game up into the Spanish half for almost the entire last ten minutes. With a 2:0 win, the Asians end their first Champions Trophy appearance on a high note and push Spain out of the next Champions Trophy, denying them a prime opportunity for preparing for the Beijing Olympic Games, should they qualify.


Next up was the match for the bronze medal, with Australia lining up against Germany. Both teams had finished on seven points from their pool matches, with Australia higher in the table for the better goal difference. However, while Australia’s performance had been stagnating for the last few games, the players appearing increasingly tired, the German team with their many inexperienced players was just coming together and consolidating after a rocky start.


Today’s match thoroughly reflected this situation, with Germany dominating throughout the match. Australia on the other hand suffered from too many unforced errors and had difficulty to mount a convincing attack or string together more than a few passes. They were clearly motivated and fought with all they had, but failed at implementation.


In 70 minutes of up-and-down without significant highlights, Germany scored twice with an early goal from Janine Beermann and another halfway through the second half, when Silja Lorenzen took advantage of a great pass into the circle, deflecting the ball into the net.


This was enough to defeat an exhausted Australian team today, and the German girls deservedly took the bronze.


BDO Hockey Champions Trophy, Women
Results day 6: Sunday 21 January 2007
Spectators: 6’600


Topscorer: Noel Barrionuevo (ARG)
Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Lisanne de Roever (NED)
Best Player of the Tournament: Minke Booij (NED)
Fair Play Trophy: Argentina


Match for 5th place: Japan : Spain 2:0 (0:0)
48. Rika Komazawa 1:0; 57. Rika Komazawa 2:0


Match for 3rd place: Australia : Germany 0:2 (0:1)
9. Janine Beermann 0:1; 51. Silja Lorenzen 0:2


Final: Netherlands : Argentina 1:0 (1:0)
3. Maartje Paumen 1:0