The Netherlands had danced their way to the top of Pool C with maximum points and a handsome goal-difference, while New Zealand had squeaked in second place of Pool D with a narrow win over South Africa.
Both teams started cautiously, possibly because of the midday heat, but the Netherlands were soon all over the Black Sticks circle, peppering goal-keeper Ben Smith from all angles. Play quickly became animated and New Zealand somehow survived another pinball session in their goalmouth and two penalty-corner attempts, with a little help from their post.
The Netherlands scrambled their third penalty-corners and were struggling to entangle themselves from the Black Sticks aggressive press. They did not help their cause by missing some clean chances and another penalty-corner, but Thierry Brinkman finally opened the scoring for The Netherlands in the 28th minute, receiving the ball alone in front of Ben Smith after the orange wave once again overwhelmed the Black Sticks defense.
It was however all they could produce and the break was reached with a narrow one-goal lead for The Netherlands. New-Zealand tied briefly the match in the 38th minute by Nicholas Woods on a penalty-corner. It was the wake-up call that the Netherlands needed and they scored two quick goals by Thierry Brinkman then Tom Hiebendaal on a penalty-stroke to establish a more comfortable cushion.
New Zealand tried to react, mostly with counter-attacks, but the Dutch had now found their marks and tightened the bolts. They were however mesmerized by a quick exchange of Black Sticks passes in the 60th minute that found Benedict Van Woerkom alone in the circle to blast the ball past Piet Noordam in the Dutch goal.
New Zealand replaced their goal-keeper with an additional field player with four minutes to go, and Dutch defender Pelle Vos picked up a yellow card, but the desperate final Black Sticks rush was too late and The Netherlands protected their narrow lead to be the first team to qualify for the semi-finals of the Hero Hockey Junior World Cup.