Drag in the first three penalty corners of the game. Write a clean hat-trick in twenty-seven minutes. But still go down the field defeated. That happened to Jip Janssen on Sunday during the top match against Oranje-Rood in Eindhoven.
Of course he should have been the hero of the match. The hero of the day for Kampong. Everything looked like it was going to be the big Jip Janssen show . Janssen, who was ‘only’ on six goals before the game with Orange-Red, after eight rounds. And of those six, he made two against Amsterdam on Thursday . But on Sunday the counter was already at three within half an hour. Plus five, in four days. And every corner, always exuberantly celebrated, in the way that only Janssen can do.
Dejected, he left the field on Sunday in Eindhoven. Janssen did not win, but drew. He handed out autographs like a farmer with a toothache. ‘It feels like we’ve lost’, he looks back. ‘In fact. We have that too. From ourselves.’
‘I threw blindly’
While he is pronouncing those words, his Orange colleague, but especially opponent of round nine, Joep de Mol, also leaves the field. Significantly happier than Janssen himself. ‘You drove me crazy’, are the first words that the Brabander shares. De Mol is of course referring to Janssen’s corner. The Orange-Red player had the thankless task of defusing his pushes as the first offshoot. ‘First my left foot had to cross the penalty spot. Goal. Then my right foot. Goal. It always passed me by. But every time I was so close.’
Janssen’s reaction? “Well, sometimes you have those days.” When asked exactly where he aimed them, he responds coolly: ‘I threw blindly.’ But anyone who knows Janssen knows better. Besides international De Mol, Orange-Red goalkeeper Pirmin Blaak also faced him. The duo who know each other through and through.
‘We have a better team’
“I try not to look at him too much. Try to focus on myself. I only intended to push on the plank. And I get the compliments and the praise, but the whole corner was right.’ Of course Janssen knows exactly what the runners and keepers do. ‘I don’t want to get too involved in peripheral matters. You must have faith in your own qualities. That worked.’
In the fourth quarter, Janssen was allowed to dock two more times for his regular recipe. But this time it was first De Mol and later Blaak who finally had an answer to the cannon from Utrecht. Not only he, but also Bjorn Kellerman and Caspar Dobbelaar should have closed the game long ago. ‘Orange-Red fights back cleverly. Congratulations for that. It felt like an absolute topper, but I think we have a better team. We should have won.’
Could those weak last two quarters have something to do with the monster win from earlier that week? Was the 8-1 victory over Amsterdam still in the heads? “We have certainly discussed this. Guys, don’t walk next to your shoes . Don’t slack. It happened anyway. That sucks, but nothing more than that.’
Chloe Goossens October 25, 2021 at 17:00 Eindhoven