The Netherlands beat Germany 3-1 in Potschefroom on Tuesday to be crowned Hockey Junior Women’s World Cup champions after a final that absolutely oozed class. The question had been whether anyone could breach the Dutch defence and, if that happened, how would the team respond.

Both questions were answered as Germany threw everything at the Netherlands and were rewarded by being the only team to score against the team in orange. However, this will always be remembered as the event where the Netherlands were the dominant force from start to finish and, even when under huge pressure from their European rivals, there was no way the excellent Rosa Fernig and her team were going to let any other team steal their thunder.

Coming into this game, Netherlands had scored 46 goals and conceded none. Germany, by contrast, had lost a pool match but had used that as a springboard to get better with every game. The question was whether the German side had what it takes to breach the Dutch defence.

The need to find a way to score against Netherlands increased when Danique van der Veerdonk sent a magnificent drag flick penalty corner past Mali Wichmann in the German goal. The goal came after a sustained period of pressure by the team in orange on the German defence.

As the half progressed, Germany withstood a period of play where the Netherlands just didn’t let up possession. The team in white looked to be run ragged as they chased the ball around the pitch.

However, as the half counted down, the German resistance paid off and they started to make in-roads of their own. The final action of the half saw the Netherlands defence being asked questions for perhaps the first time this tournament.

The first goal against the Netherlands was scored by Germany’s Sophia Schwabe. This followed a period of confident and aggressive hockey from the German players.

The scores remained even for two minutes before Tessa Beetsma was able to restore her team’s lead. Maria Steensma worked the ball down the baseline and slipped it goalwards. Beetsma needed no second invite to flick it home.

It was Beetsma again just 10 minutes later. The ever excellent Noor Omrani ran down the baseline and her cross found Beetsma waiting in the circle. Not even Wichmann could stop the sharp shooter from scoring her second and Netherlands’ third.

In the final quarter, Germany threw absolutely everything at the Netherlands but the entire team in orange dug deep and defended as well as they attacked. This was a final with class written all over it, but in the end, there was only really one winner.

Netherlands head coach Dave Smolenaars said: “The girls worked so hard against very good opponents. I couldn’t be more happy for the progress and the development. We conceded one goal, but we would have liked to have kept it to zero.”

The result means that the Netherlands have now been crowned Junior World Cup champions for the fourth time.

Individual Awards

Top Scorer: Jip Dicke (NED)

Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Mali Wichmann (GER)

Player of the Tournament: Stine Kurz (GER)

Final places:

1. Netherlands
2. Germany
3. England
4. India
5. Argentina
6. Korea
7. South Africa
8. USA
9. Ireland
10. Austria
11. Malaysia
12 Zimbabwe
13. Uruguay
14. Wales
15 Canada