The Netherlands’ women’s team came from a goal down to storm to a 7-1 win over the United States and return to the top of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Pro League standings in style in front of a full house at HC Rotterdam.
The reigning world champions produced a devastating display of attacking hockey against their American opponents, cancelling out Taylor West’s surprise opener with braces from player of the match Xan de Waard and Kyra Fortuin and solitary strikes from Yibbi Jansen, Marloes Keetels and Caia van Maasakker.
The result moves the Dutch back into first position in the FIH Pro League table, pushing Argentina down into second just one day after Las Leonas had themselves taken top spot by beating New Zealand in Rosario.
The Netherlands have claimed 85.71 per cent of the points available to them compared to Argentina’s 83.33 per cent.
The US remain bottom of the standings with 12.5 per cent.
"It was an amazing atmosphere," De Waard said.
"Of course we got the 0-1 against, but I think it was their first circle entry so we were not that afraid of losing here.
"I guess we had faith that everything would be alright.
"Everyone was passing the ball and it was very fast.
"When we saw the first player free we passed it to them, which made the game very fast and [therefore] easier."
Following their 5-0 away win in the reverse fixture at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, it came as little surprise that The Netherlands were heavy favourites to record a comfortable win over the US and claim a sixth victory in seven FIH Pro League matches.
However, while the Dutch were certainly on top in the early stages, the young American team - coached by one of the Oranje’s all-time greats in Janneke Schopman - stunned their illustrious opponents when West put the visitors ahead with a close-range finish in the sixth minute.
The US held onto their lead for seven minutes before De Waard burst into the circle and found the bottom left corner of Kelsey Bing’s goal, restoring parity at the end of the first quarter.
The Netherlands took the score to 3-1 in the second quarter, with Fortuin producing a cool turn and shot after being picked out by Jansen before De Waard netted her second with what was unquestionably the goal of the game.
The 23-year-old unleashed an unstoppable backhand strike from the top of the circle that ricocheted off the left post before nestling in the back of the net.
The home fans were treated to some scintillating hockey from the world's top-ranked team in the third quarter, with Fortuin registering her second after a brilliant assist from Laurien Leurink before Jansen and Keetels added their contributions to make it 6-1 going into the final quarter.
The scoring was completed by the ever-reliable Van Maasakker, who scored the 50th penalty corner goal, and 53rd in total, of her stellar international career.
FIH Pro League action is due to resume on April 24 when Germany’s women play host to Great Britain in Mönchengladbach.