Both teams having won their match on opening day, this was a crucial encounter for the lead in Pool C. The Netherlands were first on the scoreboard in the 4th minute, when Thierry Brinkman was on hand in front of the keeper to deflect a perfect pass drilled into the circle by Pepijn Luijkx.
Korea forced a penalty-corner soon after but their ace-striker You Seungju was this time slightly off target. They were more successful on their next attempt in the 17th minute, thanks to a deflection by Seo Inwoo just in front of the keeper.
Korean custodian Lee Seyoung maintained his team afloat with a series of saves, including a formidable double-save on Dutch shots from very close range, but he could not do much on a low strike by Tristan Algera in the 25th minute. Not to be outdone, You Seungju scored in the next minute at the other end, also on a penalty-corner, and the match was back to square one going into the break with the teams tied at 2-2.
The Netherlands jumped back into the lead early in second period when Milan Van Baal, left unmarked in the circle, pounced on a ball that seemed to be going wide and coolly redirected it in goal under the incredulous eyes of the grounded Korean keeper.
This seemed to take some wind from the Korean sails and the Netherlands controlled play for a while, creating dangerous chances but without getting an insurance goal. Korea had a last chance on a penalty-corner earned on a video-referral, but Piet Noordam in the Dutch goal was up to the task, preserving the narrow lead for a precious win that put the Netherlands solidly in control of Pool C and book them a quarter-final berth.