Hungary end Dutch medal hopes in thriller

Hungary have laid down a huge marker at these Olympic games by beating the Netherlands in a gripping contest for the ages.

The game was thrilling from start to end, but Hungary just had the better of the two sides and were more clinical on the extra-player situations.

They will now face Spain in the first of the semi-finals.

Simone Van der Kraats, the rising star and top goalscorer at this tournament, scored four times, but it wasn’t enough to see her side through to a potential medal as the Dutch take an early exit.

Netherlands 11-14 Hungary (2-3, 5-5, 2-2, 2-4 ) – LIVESCORE

Netherlands: J. Koenders, M. Megens 2, D. Genee 1, S. Van der Sloot 1, I. Wolves, N. Stomphorst 2, K-L. Joustra 1, V. Sevenich, M. Keuning, I. Koolhaas, S. Van de Kraats 4, B. Sleeking, D. Willemsz. Head Coach: A. Havenga

Hungary: E. Gangl, D. Szilagyi 2, G. Szucs, G. Gurisatti 3, V. Valyi, R. Parkes, A. Illes 3, R. Keszthelyi, D. Leimeter 4, A. Gyongyossy, N. Rybanska 1, K. Garda 1, A. Magyari. Head Coach: Attila Biro

Extra Player Shots: Netherlands 4/12, Hungary10/12 . Penalty Shots: Netherlands4/4, Hungary 0/0.

The game started with real intensity, however, neither side could find a way past each other until Vanda Vayli was excluded, and Kitty Lynn Joustra converted on the post for the Dutch. The Hungarians responded well almost instantly via Greta Gurisatti’s powerful backshot which was followed by a passionate celebration.

But no sooner had Hungary equalised did the Netherlands take the lead again. It was the tournament’s top goalscorer, Simone Van der Kraats who stepped up and grabbed her twentieth goal of these games from a 5m penalty.

An excellent piece of skill from Anna Illes gave the ball into Aniko Gyongossy to win the exclusion that Illes herself then converted, but Van der Kraats found herself in space in front of Alda Magyari and made it 3-2 to the side in white and orange.

But the quarter was turned on its head with forty seconds left as first Dora Leimeter brought her side level with a bouncing shot beyond Debby Willemsz before Greta Gurisatti forced in her second of the game to give her side a narrow lead at the break.

The second quarter was as exciting as the first, as the Netherlands pressed hard to equalize.

Maartje Keunning had a great chance to put the Netherlands ahead but opted for an extravagant lob, before Maud Megens shot from a tight angle was dealt with well by Magyari. You would have bet anything that Van der Kraats would have put away her man-up, but Magyari also got across well to save.

Eventually, the dutch pressure paid off, as Rebecca Parkes gave away another penalty to the Netherlands to give Van der Kraats her hat-trick, and to bring the Netherlands level at 4-4.

Gurisatti secured her hat-trick with three minutes left in the quarter, but when Natasa Rybanska was excluded, the Netherlands made full use of the shot clock and scored from the black-bandaged right arm of Nomi Stomphorst.

Further goals from Illes and Leimeter for Hungary, and goals for the Netherlands by Megens and Stomphorst, kept this thrilling contest ticking over, but Dora Leimeter just edged her side ahead with two seconds to go at the end of the quarter from a 6m foul.

Alda Magyari then made an unbelievable save from Stomphorst to keep her side ahead, but she was nowhere near Simone Van der Kraats’ shot that fired agonizingly to the far post but somehow stayed out.

A big momentum shift was when Attila Biro called a timeout from Dagmar Genee’s exclusion in which the ball found itself to Natasa Rybansk on the post. The Slovakian born Hungarian scored the first and most important goal of her tournament so far as she put her team ahead by two for the first time in the game.

With the Netherlands on the ropes, Hungary then capitalised further through FTC’s Anna Illes’s third goal of the game. The twenty-seven-year-old planted a beautiful shot in the top right corner from 7m.

So desperately did the Netherlands need a goal, that their coach Arno Havenga called a timeout. The resulting play led to a penalty, that Maud Megens put away with great conviction. Whatever Havenga said to his side seemed to work, as they made it 10-9 right on the buzzer at the end of the quarter through Sabrina Van der Sloot.

At the start of the third, it now seemed like the momentum was with the Netherlands – who had scored two on the bounce. It was with the Dutch, and who else but Simone Van der Kraats put away a towering effort off the bar and in to make it 10-10.

But momentum went back to the Hungarians after Vivian Sevenich was then wrapped on the counter-defence, giving Krisztina Garda a chance to score from the post, which she did. Dorottya Szilagyi, who had been quiet for much of the game, then gave Hungary a 12-10 lead with a leaning shot from the right-hand side.

Kitty Joustra then missed a great chance to pull one back with a quick, rotating shot on the post, but the twenty-three-year-old pulled the shot just wide. Dagmar Genee could pull one back for her side though, with a delicate looping shot that seemed to catch Magyari by surprise.

Hungary could have put the game to bed with a minute and a half to go where they squandered a four on two counter that Maartje Keunning snuffed out

But hey had a great chance to seal the game when Attila Biro once again turned to a timeout to bear fruit for his side, and Szilagyi made sure that Hungary would still have a chance to win its first Olympic medal.

To make matter worse for the Netherlands, Leimeter grabbed another for Hungary as the Dutch played without a keeper for the last attack, which did not end well.

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