The Orange Ladies gave Alyson Annan her hundredth victory as national coach on Saturday Vs Germany. In the Pro League, the Netherlands secured a 2-1 victory over a strong German side. The Dutch goals, by Frédérique Matla and Ireen van den Assem, both fell after the break.
In the Oranjekamp there were many question marks about Germany beforehand. The number three in the world turned out to be a stiff team in the Wagener Stadium, giving away very little space when the opponent was in possession of the ball. A tough first quarter for the Netherlands, finding it tough to break down the German defence – only Pien Dicke shot a ball on goal in the first fifteen minutes – the first German attack also immediately resulted in a goal. At the end of the first quarter, Lisa Altenburg released herself and scored the opening goal. At that time, the Netherlands were down to 10 with Malou Pheninckx receiving a green card for an (unnecessary) push.
Passes around the back and behind
There was work to be done for the Orange squad that had not lost to Germany within regular playing time for ten years. The Netherlands, where Marloes Keetels played her 150th international match, went through motions and put together a number of passes around the back, but without influential leader Margot van Geffen, missing through injury, the Netherlands struggled to create opportunity within the 23-metres area. There were chances, for Maria Verschoor and Laurien Leurink, but the best opportunity of the quarter came from the visitors. Hannah Gablac just fell short of completing a nice rush from Lena Micheel.
Whatever coach Annan said at the break seemed to have worked. The Netherlands finally played a bit more freely and that quickly resulted in the equalising goal. Matla – before half time playing fairly anonymously – made it by tapping in a backhand from Laura Nunnink. It was her fourth goal in a row against Germany. The visitors staggered for a moment and the Orange took advantage by winning the first corner of the match. Van den Assem seized the opportunity to circle with both hands and beat the German goalie Anna Kilian, who had relieved Nathalie Kubalski in the break.
Remarkable corner by Germany
Germany had a good chance at the end of the third quarter, the biggest in hindsight, to get the equalizer. The first German penalty corner was a remarkable one. The corner was injected on ‘the other side’, so to the left of the Dutch goal. Anne Schröder was able to slide in completely freely, but the midfielder, unfortunately, missed in a favourable position.
In the last quarter, a controlling Netherlands held its own, without becoming too dangerous themselves. The latter also applied to Germany, which lacked the creativity and versatility to cause major problems. Overall the Netherlands deserved their 2-1 victory, making it seven victories for the world champions in the Pro League, leaving them head and shoulders in the lead.
For national coach Annan, the international match resulted in many interesting video images. Not only are there hardly any question marks about Germany now, but a lot of teaching material has also been collected about demolishing an opponent’s wall. A job that Orange so laboriously completed.
Netherlands – Germany 2-1 (0-1)
12. Lisa Altenburg 0-1
35. Frédérique Matla 1-1
40. Ireen van den Assem 2-1 (sc)