London, Jul 28: The Netherlands drubbed Pakistan 5-1 at East Grinstead Sports Club in what was the final warm-up match for both sides ahead of the Olympics, which kicked off on Friday through a grand ceremony. The match was a closed-door affair for a few privileged persons. The club's first team manager Matt Jones said hockey of the highest standard was played out during the match.
Both teams kept their defences strong in the first half and it was only in the 33rd minute that midfielder Robber Kemperman made a breakthrough for the Dutch through a reverse-stick shot. Soon after the interval, Roderick Weusthof extended the lead with a good move.
The Asians reduced the gap at the 49th minute when Abdul Haseem Khan scored but it only fuelled the Dutch fury as the latter made it 4-1 with defender Mink van der Weerden scoring from penalty corners on both occasions. Weerden's goals came within a gap of ten minutes. Rogier Hofman sealed it in the 69th minute by scoring from a move down the left side.
The Netherlands coach Paul van Ass said it was a good practice for the team which will take on India in its opening match on Jul 30. He said the Dutch will first try to make the semi-finals and if they make it, they will prepare for a difficult phase from then on.
Pakistan Hockey Federation secretary Asif Bawja said the team tried different things in the match and while some paid off, others did not. He said the team would analyse the performance ahead of its first match at the mega event against Spain, also on Jul 30. He said the scoreline was not important for them.
The Olympic hockey tournament will start on Sunday with the women's teams taking the turf.