Amsterdam in unnecessarily exciting final to sixteenth European title

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Amsterdam is champion of Europe. Teun de Nooijer’s selection defeated German Mannheimer 2-1 in a sold-out Wagener Stadium in the final of the Euro Hockey League. It is the sixteenth European title for the team from the capital.

The party started in the Wagener Stadium around ten past three. Shortly afterwards, captain Maria Verschoor made a lap of honor with the EHL trophy in her hands. At the back of the group of players was Felice Albers, who personally ensured that Amsterdam retained possession of the ball in the last minute and won the match. This means that the reigning national champion can also call himself European champion. They also had that title in 2022, but it went to Den Bosch last season.

Freeke Moes and Fay van der Elst ensured that the tension in the final had already disappeared in the first ten minutes. Although Mannheimer was allowed to create a penalty corner twice within three minutes, it was Amsterdam that opened the scoring. That all happened without Marijn Veen. The international was given a handful of playing minutes against SCHC in the semi-finals, but now watched from the sidelines. She wasn’t fit enough. Noor de Baat also watched. She will no longer play this season due to a knee injury.

Amsterdam’s first really good attack resulted in an immediate hit. Ilse Kappelle brought the ball into the circle towards Fay van der Elst. The striker was not selfish and thought her colleague Freeke Moes was even better in front of the German goal. It was a piece of cake for the Brabant attacker to push the ball over the goal line.

2-0 within ten minutes

It was later Van der Elst who forced the first corner for Amsterdam. She got the ball played high on her body in the circle. A big smile immediately appeared on her face. What the striker didn’t know was that it would be an instant hit. The second opportunity immediately followed from the first corner – a drag from Michelle Fillet. A variant via Floor de Haan was tipped by Van der Elst – while lying on the ground -: 2-0. This is how Amsterdam started the European final wonderfully. And within ten minutes we had a nice lead.

Mannheim stayed alive in the first fifteen minutes, when video referee Rebecca Edwards turned back a goal by Felice Albers. She thought – just like Mannheimer – that Maria Verschoor’s assist was dangerously high. This ended the score at 3-0. Because the final blow was not delivered, the final remained a competition.

Carolin Seidel had a good chance with her forehand, but the German striker’s shot went wide. That was also the only pinprick before half time for Mannheimer, who had to rely mainly on defense. Later it was fortunate that the backhand of Amsterdam striker Fiona Morgenstern went over the goal very hard and somewhat uncontrollably.

Photo: Willem Vernes

Stupid and painful cards

Mannheimer – which was in a European final for the first time – did everything it could to turn the tide in the one-sided final. But that wasn’t easy. The biggest opportunities remained for Amsterdam. Maria Verschoor was allowed to lash out with her backhand after a wonderful ball into Van der Elst’s depth, but Lisa Schneider saved with her glove. Amsterdam failed to completely outclass. Van der Elst should have made it 3-0 twenty minutes before the end, when she went alone to the German goalie. However, she made her angle too small, causing a shot to fail.

Sonja Zimmermann and Stella van Gils took their place on the penalty bench just before the end of the third quarter. They received a green print for a tap on the stick. Mannheimer managed to score a penalty corner, now the third of the match. The cards were a bit stupid and later proved to be extra painful: declarer Charlotte Gerstenhöfer provided the tying goal via a corner variation: 2-1. Suddenly it was exciting again in the final.

The German tying goal. Photo: Willem Vernes

The chance for the 2-2, which still came

With eight minutes to play, Amsterdam also got another penalty corner. The team opted for the same recipe as the Germans did before. From the head, back towards the declarer. There stood Morgenstern. She aimed for goal, but her effort hit the German goalie’s legguard. Gone opportunity.

The fairly solid Amsterdam made the EHL final unnecessarily exciting due to those missed opportunities. When Mannheimer exchanged the keeper for an extra field player three minutes before the end, things became even more difficult. Mannheimer took a corner, but it was run out by Gabrielle Mosch, who already stopped a handful of corners from SCHC specialist Yibbi Jansen on Sunday. The rebound that followed was saved by goalie Anne Veenendaal.

Amsterdam could breathe a sigh of relief and coach Teun de Nooijer’s arms went into the air. In his first year as coach at the Bosclub he won his first title. He has already won a prize as head coach – the Gold Cup with Bloemendaal in 2018 – but still wrote history on Monday. He is the first to win the EHL title during his time as a player (2009 and 2013 with Bloemendaal) as well as a coach.

Photo: Willem Vernes

Amsterdam – Mannheimer 2-1 (2-0)
6. Freeke Moes 1-0
12. Fay van der Elst 2-0 (sc)
45. Charlotte Gerstenhöfer 2-1 (sc)


The article is in Dutch

Tags: Amsterdam unnecessarily exciting final sixteenth European title

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