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Netherlands Reaches Title Game

September 29, 2000|From Times News Services

Defending champion Netherlands needed a penalty shootout to defeat host Australia and also advance to the gold-medal game in men's field hockey.

After a scoreless regulation, the Dutch won the shootout, 5-4, when goalkeeper Ronald Jansen made a diving save on Brent Livermore's shot.

The match was fast-paced and flowing, with little to separate the two teams. Australia produced the lone short corner, almost scoring with a variation to Paul Gaudoin on the left.

Both teams had several scoring opportunities throughout the match, with Jay Stacy and Stephen Davies leading the way for Australia, and Stephen Veen and Remco Van Wijk creating chances for the Netherlands.

The Netherlands got its best chance from a rare mistake by Australian captain Michael York, who mis-hit a ball that Marten Eikelboom picked up.

In the dying seconds of regular time, Australia almost took the match with a long hit from Jay Stacy to Troy Elder, whose deflection was saved by Jansen.

Among the fans cheering for the Netherlands was swimming gold medalist Inge de Bruijn and Crown Prince Willem Alexander of the Netherlands.

The Netherlands will face South Korea, which defeated Pakistan, 1-0, when Song Seung-tae converted a penalty corner in the 56th minute.

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