With Covid-19 claiming many games in the WSL, the focus for Oranje Vrouwen fell solely on Pure Energie Eredivisie Vrouwen. 

We started Round 14 on Friday night when second from bottom Heerenveen visited 6th placed PEC Zwolle. A goalkeeping error from Moon Pondes in the PEC Zwolle goal would see American forward Kirsten McFarland somehow scramble the ball over the line to see the visitors take an early lead inside 11 minutes.

The lead would be short-lived, however, as Marushka van Olst calmy moved through the defence to slot the ball past the stranded Heerenveen keeper. PEC Zwolle would go on to take the lead early in the second half, with Danique Noordman nodding in from close range after a wonderful delivery from van Olst. 

The final nail in the Heerenveen coffin came on the 66th minute. A great run by van Oust into the box from the halfway line would see her square the ball across the box to find Evi Maatman ready to pounce and tap into the empty net. The 3-1 scoreline for PEC Zwolle was justified in the end, with Marushka van Olst putting her hand well and truly up for selectors of the Oranje. 

Mid-table Clash

Sunday would start with PSV taking on Ado Den Haag, sitting in 4th and 5th place respectively. The game was evenly played, with both teams having opportunities throughout the first half, with PSV finally finding the breakthrough on the 24th minute when Desiree van Lunteren tapped in from close range to put the hosts 1-0 up at the break.

The second half would start off in a slow fashion, with substitutions coming from both sides. Melanie Bross came on for PSV, only to be sent off for a second bookable offense 15 minutes after coming on. Her first booking would come as a result of a late challenge with Ado Den Haag on the attack and the second coming in rather bizarre fashion. What looked like a 50:50 challenge would find Romy Speelman crumple to the floor, leading to the resulting booking. In hindsight, both cautions were very avoidable, but Bross had no real room to argue with the decision.

With the game in the balance, Den Haag would have the chance to take the lead when the ball struck a PSV hand in the box. Captain Gwenyth Hendricks lined up to take the spot-kick, only to find her effort strike the post. A weakened PSV side continued to apply pressure, with this paying off in the 86th minute when Esmee Brugts rounded the stranded Den Haag keeper to coolly slot home to double the host’s lead.

Hendricks would be the chance to make amends for her previous penalty miss, with a penalty awarded for another handball in the 3rd minute of stoppage time. This time, the captain went on to convert the penalty, however, PSV and Oranje keeper Sari van Veenendaal got a hand to the attempt but was not strong enough to keep this out of the back of the net. PSV walked away the winners in this tie, but ADO Den Haag could well look back at this one thinking about what could’ve been. 

The Battle To Be Winter Champion

The final two games of this round would go on to decide who would claim the Winter Champion title, with the Pure Energie Eredivise Vrouwen entering its winter break. 

FC Twente entered the round sitting in 3rd place, with only a win and results going their way being enough for them to go top. Facing bottom side Excelsior, this would (on paper) seem to be the nailed-on result of the weekend.

A comedy of errors would lead to Excelsior taking a shock lead inside the first two minutes, with Sabrine Ellouzi walking through the defence and past the oncoming Twente keeper to slot home the opening goal. This would be the only highlight of a pretty routine game for the home team with Twente going into the break at 2-1. It was in the second half where Twente really stepped on the gas, with seven unanswered goals hitting the back of the net. Fenna Kalma added another 3 goals to her already impressive tally, with all of these coming in the second half. This is surely a name we will be seeing in the upcoming European Championships for Oranje, and on this form, she could well be a wildcard for the golden boot. 

With Twente doing all they could to ensure they were top of the league going into the winter break, all attention turned to De Klassieker. Ajax v Feyenoord.

The first half was a tight affair, with both teams canceling each other out. Both teams had decent spells of possession and a great number of chances, but both lacked the finishing touches.

It would take a strike from 12 yards in the 52nd minute to break the deadlock between the two sides. Liza Van der Most, of Ajax, broke into the Feyenoord penalty area and was brought down by defender, Robine de Ridder by a clumsy-looking challenge. Romee Leuchter was the player tasked with the spot kick and she coolly slotted the penalty to the keepers left. Ajax would go on to double their lead three minutes later when Sherida Spitse played a stunning ball from the middle of the park to Leuchter who duly poked the ball past Jacintha Weimar in the Feyenoord goal. The hosts would go on to dominate the second half, with Weimar being the sole reason Feyenoord didn’t concede any further goals. 

In the end, Ajax proved excellent value in their 2-0 win and are warranted Winter Champions of the Pure Energie Eredivisie Vrouwen.

That’s All For Now

The league now enters its winter break, with no further games will take place until January 14, 2022. With the league table so tightly packed, it truly is anyone’s to take from this point. We find the top four teams separated by only three points, and with two teams qualifying for the UEFA Women’s Champions League, the fight certainly has a long way to go!

Jamie Kitchener (1 Posts)