Hockey: Dutch end Australia's World Cup winning run

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The Independent Online

The game between the host nation and the Netherlands, who were both on maximum points, proved the highlight of yesterday's play in the Women's World Cup here.

The game between the host nation and the Netherlands, who were both on maximum points, proved the highlight of yesterday's play in the Women's World Cup here.

The Dutch, without their earpieces which had caused so much controversy following their game against Ireland and which had subsequently been banned by the tournament director, were quickly into their stride going into the lead in the fifth minute. A long ball out of defence was picked up by the Dutch captain, Mijntne Donners, who moved into the circle to put the ball between the Australian goalkeeper Rachel Imison's pads for the opening goal.

The Dutch increased their lead in the 23rd minute through Miek van Geenhuizen and although Australia pulled a goal back in the 43rd minute with a penalty corner strike from Karen Smith, Donners sent Minke Smabers away to restore their two-goal margin nine minutes later. This was Australia's first defeat in a World Cup match since they went lost 2-1 to Russia in the 1994 event in Dublin.

Scotland's disappointing World Cup form continued yesterday when they went down 5-0 to Argentina who have all but assured themselves of a semi- final place where they are likely to meet the Australians.

England were resting yesterday and reflecting on their poor performance on Saturday when drawing 1-1 with Japan. Without the vocal support of the Barmy Army, England performance was lacklustre. Tricia Heberle, the England coach, described it as the worst performance since she took over. "We did not play to our game plan," she said. "Our work level was down and we were deservedly punished by the Japanese."

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