Will this finally be the season of the women of OH Leuven? In any case, coach Jimmy Coenraets’ troops seized provisional power on Saturday. They won 1-3 at the Lotto Park, meaning that national champions Anderlecht are already following on eight points. The Purple & White can take revenge on Saturday in a rematch of the match, but in the Belgian Cup.
OHL started like wildfire on Saturday, but Marie Detruyer’s header was too weak and home goalkeeper Seraina Friedl pushed Diljá Zomers’ attempt into a corner. The Purple & White responded around the fifteen minute mark with a header from Amélie Delabre and a breakaway from Sarah Wijnants that Delabre was just unable to finish. The goal fell on the other side: Zomers tapped a cross from Detruyer against the ropes at the far post. “We missed our patron in defense with Laura De Neve,” said coach Dave Mattheus. “Laura will visit a specialist on Monday and then a decision will be made about whether or not to undergo surgical intervention. In any case, there is a lot of damage to the knee and we will have to miss her for a while.”
OHL flirted with a double bonus before half-time, but Nikée Van Dijk miked high over and also saw a goal rightly flagged for offside. After the break, the double lead came after all, when Zomers was brilliantly sent into the depth by Sari Kees. Coach Mattheus felt that RSCA had lost control and intervened on the hour with a double substitution, which immediately had an effect. Substitute Esther Buabadi ran down the flank and Delabre completed the nice attack. The purple-white hope flared up again for a moment, but was quickly crushed again. The speaker was even busy announcing the tying goal when OHL shot the 1-3 against the ropes. Valesca Ampoorter passed the ball to Van Dijk and he did not hesitate. Anderlecht struggled for a while, but the home team did not get any further than an attempt by Wijnants. On the other side, the crossbar even kept Jeslynn Kuipers from making it 1-4.
“This time we did not win on a thief like last year,” said OHL coach Jimmy Coenraets. “Anderlecht may have had more ball possession, but we created the best opportunities. Last year we got away well, but this time we deservedly won. We developed our own game, but sometimes we were too impetuous with the opportunities. We must be able to bring even more when we have possession of the ball. That will be a working point for Saturday, because Anderlecht will be eager for revenge in the cup.”
“Only one and a half points”
In the Purple & White, Dave Mattheus was already looking ahead to the cup topper. “It’s make or break on Saturday for one of the two trophies,” said the coach. “I don’t want to minimize this defeat, but in the end we only lost one and a half points against OHL. Last year we also had to chase. This time we paid the price for individual mistakes. For example, on the third goal, two defenders turned away, allowing Van Dijk to connect unhindered.”