Jeroen Hertzberger scored a hat-trick as 2014 runners-up Netherlands plundered a hapless Malaysia 7-0 in a lopsided Pool D encounter at the Hockey World Cup in Bhuvneshwar on Saturday.
The three-time champions and world number four proved to be a superior opponent against the Asian Games silver medallist, who found it tough going in their first match at the World Cup.
Mirco Pruijser (21st minute), Mink Van der Weerden (35th) Robbert Kemperman (44th) and Thierry Brinkman (57th) were the other goal scorers for Netherlands. Hertzberger scored twice in the first half before adding a third in the final minute of play to complete his hat-trick.
Malaysia goalkeeper Kumar Subramaniam was the only bright spot in a tepid performance from his team and the veteran goalkeeper’s brilliant saves helped the team avoid further humiliation. The Netherlands on the other showed their quality with relentless attacks on the opposition box.
The 4th ranked Dutch team was equally good on the back and thwarted almost every attack that came their way. Against such sturdy defence, Malaysia managed to eke out just three shots, none of which troubled the Dutch custodian, which was 27 less than what Netherlands had attempted.
Malaysia next plays Pakistan on December 5, while the Netherlands takes on Germany. Pool B is considered to be the group of death with three former champions chasing their next title.