In a match that saw attack after attack for Amsterdam it was the SCHC defensive line who came out on top. Amsterdam had plenty of chances in the semi-finals of the playoffs to take the win but their failure to get on the score sheet left the door open for SCHC to snatch the win. At the same time making Amsterdam’s chances of reaching the final a now far tougher task as they now have to win twice in Bilthoven.
Carmen Wijsman can never be described as a goal poacher, without a single goal to her name this season, and only managing to find the net once last season, Wijsman today stepped up, but this time, she was in the right place in the 43rd minute. Winger Famke Richardson put in a good effort on the right as she advanced into the area, pulling the ball back to the waiting Wijsman who struck hard and low to put SCHC ahead. Some would say an unjustified lead given the run of play, but it’s not domination that wins games, its finding the net more times than your opponents.
After the match, Amsterdam coach Mathijssen could hardly believe that his team did not succeed in winning.
“We were clearly the parent party, but we have not rewarded ourselves. We created many opportunities and they only one just when we got an untrue green card. As a result, we were disorganised for just 1 minute, while 69 we were very organised. This is very sour. On the other hand, if they can beat us here and against the run of play, why can we not win twice at their place? ”
Amsterdam could not benefit from SCHC gift
The most typical moment of the first half was perhaps the width pass of SCHC player Michelle van der Pols. Without looking, she played the ball right through the middle which was cut out by Amsterdam, who counter attacked fast upon Maddie Hinch who was in fine form protecting her goal. From the attack Amsterdam won a penalty corner. After a string of penalty corners Amsterdam chose a variant. Ellen Hoog – who after the playoffs ends her career and may have played her last home match – slipped the ball to Julia Müller, Former German international fired the ball on goal. Miss, but SCHC was warned.
Errors from SCHC are not punished
Amsterdam has only it’s self to blame than they did not take the lead. The team lacks scoring ability in these kind of matches and in this semi-finals, lacking the cleverness to punish SCHC’s mistakes. At times Stichtsche looked woeful, failing to put a string of passes together and often turning over possession. As the first half progressed, SCHC slowly recovered. When international Caia van Maasakker was given the chance to show why she is one of the worlds best corner takers, Amsterdam kept the audience in breath. As the ball fizzed towards the top corner of the Amsterdam net to give SCHC a 2-0 lead, Keeper Anne Veenendaal had other ideas, springing across her goal with an out stretched stick deflecting the ball up and over her bar..
‘In the first half we were lacklustre’ said woman of the match Carmen Wijsman. “we played at about eighty percent. At half time we were told that we had to improve and play 100 percent. The hand brake had to be off. We had to play the game we are good at. Forward hockey and keep defending well. We did not do that in the second half, but a lot better. ”
After the goal of Wijsman in the second half, the ladies of SCHC also showed their class in stages. Especially Argentina international Delfina Merino, once again stated why she was nominated for the award of best-class hockey player of the playoffs 2016/2017. With razor-sharp sprints and some technical highlights, she was a real blow to the Amsterdam defence. Threatening she was for sure, but she never became really dangerous, making Amsterdam hope for the equalizer.
Ilse Kappelle tears a muscle
Amsterdam had to deal with a considerable setback. Young Orange player Ilse Kappelle twisted her knee and left the field shivering from the pain. Later she found that she had torn her groin and will now be out of the second match for Amsterdam, which must also be done in the decisive phase of this season without Kelly Jonker, Judith Zeevenhooven and Leiah Brigitha.
In the final phase, Amsterdam continued to press and search for the crucial goal. Charlotte Vega shot ahead and hit the post. In a phase in which SCHC attacker Roos Drost could only watch as she served a yellow card suspension on the side, Kimberly Thompson failed to finish when in front of goal. In the last minute, Mathijssen took off keeper Anne Veenendaal. Confusion spread through the team as Lauren Stam also left the field, a moment when Amsterdam went wrong … Remarkable: Amsterdam with one player less on the field. While Veenendaal was changing, Kitty van Male ran onto the field to replace her, but at the same time one of her teammates came to the side. As a result, Amsterdam played ten players on the field instead of eleven.
Mathijssen: “We have been training a hundred times, but under high pressure, it did not work well. Let’s say that we did not do this in a moment of stress. I did not see it. I thought Sophie Polkamp came to us from the side and told us. She looked good. I think it took only half a minute. “” But let’s not make this case unnecessary, “continued Mathijssen. “I think it’s nice that we played today with four girls of sixteen years. If you see how they turned in the half-final of the play-offs, against such a strong opponent. Then I think that’s very pretty. Next week we just have to make sure that we make that goal. And I’m confident we’ll do that”.
However, Wijsman believes – of course – that SCHC will reach the final. “We have the home advantage, so we just have to get in on the profit. There we are going to work hard this week. I’m sure it’s going to be successful.