Olympic champions USA were too strong to beat world champions Netherlands 13-10 in an atmospheric Nijmegen.

Olympic champions USA were too strong to beat world champions Netherlands 13-10 in an atmospheric Nijmegen.

Nearly 500 spectators watched the U.S. women beat the Dutch 13-10 in Nijverdal. Swimming Pool Head Ravijn is sold out. Head Ravine's volunteers ensured that the organization of the match between the reigning Olympic champion against the world champion went smoothly.

In the first quarter, the Dutch struggled a lot with the compact American defense. In addition, center forward Vivienne Sevenich was often stopped. Defensively, coach Evangelos Doudezis' team had to deal with a number of exclusions that America knew what to do with.

In the second quarter, the Dutch seemed to bounce back. Lacking luck in finishing, the post blocked the tying goal a few times. After 3-5, a curling ball from USA's Lola Mulhuizen still managed to find the net.

Mulhuizen scored the first Dutch goal again in the third period. A penalty shot flawlessly into the top left corner. This gave the Dutch a boost, as a few minutes later Mulhuizen again made it 5-9 with a shot in the long corner. Brigitte Sleiking made it 6-9 35 seconds ago.

After long shots by Sabrina van der Sloot (7-9) and Martje Keuning (8-9) the three goal difference seemed to disappear like snow in the sun. Moments later, Kitty Lynn Justra hit a backhand shot from the center front position to make it 9-10. However, the gap could not be closed. After Lieke Rogge's arc (10-11), the Dutch team had to take a risk in the last three minutes. Unfortunately, it didn't work for the audience, who clearly supported the Dutch team.

According to national coach Evangelos Doudesis, it was a 'beautiful lesson'. “We made the wrong decisions at times, which allowed the US to score. But, we kept our confidence alive and came back well. It was definitely not our best game, so there is work to be done.”

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The Dutch women now focus on the European Championships in Eindhoven. The first match against Croatia is on Friday 5th January at 7pm.

Netherlands-USA 10-13 (1-3, 2-3, 3-3, 4-4)
Goal scorers
Netherlands: Lola Moolhuijzen 3, Brigitte Sleeking 2, Lieke Rogge 2, Sabrina van der Sloot 1, Maartje Keuning 1, Kitty Lynn Joustra 1,
USA: Ryan Nushall 3, Jordan Raney 3, Maggie Steffens 2, Tara Prentice 2, Jenna Flynn 1, Jewel Roemer 1, Emily Ausmus 1.

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