Den Bosch handed national champion Amsterdam their first defeat in more than a year in a wonderful hockey battle on Sunday afternoon. At the Oosterplas, coach Marieke Dijkstra’s formation won 2-1 in a match in which goal chances, green and yellow cards were almost innumerable.
Den Bosch further extended its undefeated streak in the Premier League with the victory over its title competitor. The team has not lost 29 league matches in a row since the 2-0 defeat against Amsterdam in the third round of last season.
The clash between the two most productive teams in the Tulp Hoofdklasse Dames resulted in a fascinating, open battle on Sunday afternoon at the Oosterplas. Especially in the first half, the visitors showed themselves to be the most attacking and most dangerous.
Within five minutes, Michelle Fillet and Fay van der Elst had already fired on the Den Bosch goal (twice). The fact that no Amsterdam goal was scored in that phase was due to goalkeeper Josine Koning, who made three skillful saves.
Goal out of nowhere
Yet it was Den Bosch that – somewhat out of nowhere – took the lead. At the right back, Charlotte Englebert sent a long, hard pass that ended up at left front Babs Reijnen via Noor de Baat’s stick. The 18-year-old attacker first sent Felice Albers into the woods with a simple movement, wanted to cross to Frédérique Matla, but saw the ball end up behind Amsterdam keeper Anne Veenendaal via Sabine Plönissen’s stick: 1-0. Goal number six for Reijnen this season.
Amsterdam survived two penalty corners from Den Bosch at the end of the first quarter thanks to saves from Veenendaal and evened the score early in the second quarter. While Maartje Krekelaar had to watch from the sideline after a foul on Felice Albers, Stella van Gils was able to play to teammate Michelle Fillet in the center of the field.
With Sanne Koolen at her back, the striker turned around very quickly: a short, hard swipe later, the ball was behind Koning in the Den Bosch goal, 1-1. A strong example of prize shooting from the eager striker, who is Amsterdam’s most productive player this season with twelve official goals.
The ball had not yet started rolling after half-time when the next giant opportunity presented itself. With a signature dribble , Felice Albers on the right thundered into the circle for the umpteenth time this match to give Freeke Moes an opportunity not to be missed. However, Moes only hit the ball halfway and saw her cross go wide.
An expensive miss, because not much later Den Bosch attacker Joosje Burg had her sights set. From a failed penalty corner, Rosa Fernig and Sanne Koolen brought the ball back into the circle, where Burg struck with a hard flat: 2-1 for the home team, who created far fewer open chances, but used them more effectively.
The fact that the last quarter still brought plenty of tension was partly thanks to Maartje Krekelaar. The Den Bosch attacker had the 3-2 on her stick in the last minute of the third quarter, but was unable to get the ball past Veenendaal twice. It resulted in an extremely fascinating final phase, in which it rained not only drops but also cards.
Engelbert and Moes were given a yellow card for five minutes after a physical violation, and Matla was sent to the sideline for two minutes shortly afterwards. Earlier in the match, Stella van Gils and Emma Reijnen had also received a time penalty from the referee after too much physical contact.
The fact that Den Bosch was able to maintain its 2-1 lead was also thanks to Josine Koning. The goalkeeper distinguished himself countless times under the crossbar. Her diving late in the match on a flaming shot from Maria Verschoor in particular earned applause at the Oosterplas.
With the victory over the national champion, Den Bosch now has a firm grip on first place in the Premier League. The gap with Amsterdam is now five points. SCHC took over second place from Amsterdam and is now three points behind Den Bosch.