Bloemendaal has taken a lead in the final battle of the play-offs. Rick Mathijssen’s team won after taking shoot-outs from Kampong. After seventy exciting minutes it was 2-2.
They were all ready. All 22 players on the field and the two referees. But just when the orange smoke had cleared from the circle of Kampong, the last echoes of the stadium classic Eye of the Tiger had blown towards De Galgenwaard and the ball was in the middle, nothing happened.
There appeared to be a problem with the communication system between the referees and the video car. Crucial for the interaction with the video referee, who is only involved in the final of the playoffs. Glenn Schuurman took another sip from his water bottle, Robbert Kemperman and Martijn Havenga skipped another ball and Roel Bovendeert tied his shoelaces again.
The dagger thrust of Fuchs
After another spraying – forcing the spectators to flee to the top row of the grandstand – and a twenty-minute delay, the final could finally begin. Bloemendaal turned out to be the least affected by the delay. The reigning champion already delivered a dagger after four minutes, via Florian Fuchs. The German, who missed the second semi-final battle due to a hamstring injury, was served via a through ball and was able to pick the corner face to face with David Harte. He did that too: 0-1.
Kampong needed time to get into the game. The home team made mistakes, such as the clumsy shoot by Sander de Wijn, which gave Bloemendaal a corner. Tim Swaen’s effort was – again – superbly played out by Lars Balk. Only after fifteen minutes Bloemendaal goalie Maurits Visser had to take action at the first real, and immediately life-sized, chance for Kampong, via Jasper Luijkx.
It was the starting signal that Kampong was back in the game. In the second quarter, the Utrecht team got two corners within three minutes. The first was dragged by Jip Janssen, again playing with his ‘Edgar Davids glasses’. Attempt two by Janssen, taken while the corner music was still on, plopped hard on the shelf next to Visser.
The bits of Bloemendaal
In the meantime, Bloemendaal was busy making sure that there was a mouthguard for every player. Apparently not everyone had taken it to De Klapperboom. Floris Wortelboer and Roel Bovendeert even had to be changed from the competition management because they were not wearing a mouthpiece. Injured players of De Mussen rushed to the dressing room to pick up the mouthguards.
Kampong took even tighter control on the field, which resulted in the third corner of the match. This time it was not Jip Janssen, but Martijn Havenga who pushed. The defender, working on his last days as a top hockey player, brought the halftime score to 1-2. Just after the break, Kampong seemed to increase the lead, when Luijkx – again he – had a free passage to the opponent’s goal. The Brabant player actually did everything right, poked the ball past Visser, but his bet was rolling against the post.
The game was thus on the wagon. Because less than a minute later, Bloemendaal got the chance to score 2-2 from a corner. Jasper Brinkman’s corner – Swaen was sitting on the bench – was not dangerous enough, however, to make Harte restless again. There was no longer any question of caution or control. The game went downhill, but that did not lead to many played opportunities.
Kampong held his ground and breathed a sigh of relief when a cross by Jorrit Croon went past a lot of sticks and therefore did not lead to a goal attempt. Bloemendaal insisted and eventually struck through a penalty corner. Nine minutes before the end, it was once not Brinkman or Swaen’s direct train, but the variant. A sparse variant, which was saved for the ultimate moment. Brinkman served Arthur Van Doren, who flattened hard: 2-2.
After that, a lot of things happened. Sander de Wijn received a yellow card, as a result of which he missed five minutes and – more importantly – has to miss the second final encounter. It was his third print of the season. Bloemendaal got another corner in the final seconds. So a play-out corner. Swaen dragged over, however, giving us a shoot-out series for the first time in these play-offs.
And what a shoot-out series it was. The first of Terrance Pieters immediately went wrong, and Harte was injured at the third bet by Bloemendaal. Joren Romijn had to go cold from the bench into the field and immediately turned Bovendeert’s attempt. The fill-in keeper became an even bigger hero for the home side when he turned Croon’s second shoot-out. Jonas de Geus had the winner on his stick, but eventually shot over. A miss by Bjorn Kellerman was ultimately fatal to Kampong. The striker had made the convex side, making his attempt go wrong and his battered team is behind in this steaming final battle.
Kampong – Bloemendaal (2-2)
|5 ‘||0-1||Bloemendaal, the Netherlands||Florian Fuchs|
|27 ‘||1-1 (sc)||Kampong||Jip Janssen|
|35 ‘||2-1 (sc)||Kampong||Martijn Havenga|
|63 ‘||2-2 (sc)||Bloemendaal, the Netherlands||Arthur Van Doren|
|71 ‘||0-1 (so)||Bloemendaal, the Netherlands||Jorrit Croon|
|72 ‘||1-1 (so)||Kampong||Jonas de Geus|
|73 ‘||1-2 (so)||Bloemendaal, the Netherlands||Thierry Brinkman|
|74 ‘||2-2 (so)||Kampong||Robbert Kemperman|
|75 ‘||3-2 (so)||Kampong||Bjorn Kellerman|
|76 ‘||3-3 (so)||Bloemendaal, the Netherlands||Arthur Van Doren|
|77 ‘||3-4 (so)||Bloemendaal, the Netherlands||Thierry Brinkman|