Dutch women make strong start at field hockey World Cup

Belgium's Stephanie Vanden Borre looks dejected during the group stage match between New Zealand and Belgium in the Women's Hockey World Cup at the at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London, Sunday July 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

Defending champion Netherlands scored three goals in the opening nine minutes in a 7-0 rout of South Korea in its opening Pool A game at the women's field hockey World Cup

LONDON — Defending champion Netherlands scored three goals in the opening nine minutes in a 7-0 rout of South Korea in its opening Pool A game at the women's field hockey World Cup.

Frederique Matla struck in the opening minute of Sunday's game before Lidewij Welten and Kitty van Male scored to give the Dutch a commanding 3-0 lead.

Matla fired in her second and Kelly Jonker made it 5-0 in the 14th minute for the seven-time champions before Laurien Leurink and Van Male completed the scoring with just 23 minutes on the clock.

In Pool D, New Zealand beat Belgium 4-2.

Belgium responded through Louise Versavel and Jill Boon after going behind to Kelsey Smith's early opener.

New Zealand equalized through Shiloh Gloyn and Olivia Merry struck in the 32nd and 54th minutes to seal the win.

Also, Italy marked its first World Cup game in 42 years by upsetting Pool A rival China 3-0, and No. 3-ranked Argentina beat Spain 6-2 in their opening Pool C match.

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