Women’s ABN AMRO GRAND FINAL
AH&BC Amsterdam 2 (F Tuzgol, F van der Elst) Den Bosch 2 (F Matla 2), Amsterdam win shoot-out 3-2
AH&BC Amsterdam delighted a huge crowd at their Wagener Stadium home as their fresh-faced team produced the performance of their lives to land the women’s ABN AMRO EHL title.
In a brilliant final showcase of the world’s best club hockey competition, reigning champions Bosch twice led in the first half from Frédérique Matla goals but Filiz Tüzgol and Fay der Elst finished off supper goals to tie it in normal time. Anne Veenendaal then produced the goods in the shoot-out for the second successive round to earn a 3-2 success.
It was a battle between the 2019 and 2021 champions. For Amsterdam, though, it is an almost entirely new look side compared to that success three years ago with only six players available this time.
For Den Bosch, they had 16 of the 18 that won 12 months ago with the sole outfield change being the return of Margot van Geffen coming in while Ireen van den Assem has moved on.
HC 's-Hertogenbosch v AH&BC Amsterdam – Final Highlights – EHL Amsterdam pic.twitter.com/PggmH8LB1s— Euro Hockey League (@EHLHockeyTV) April 18, 2022
And they showed that know-how for the big stage in a blistering opening. Laura Nunnink pinched possession off Maria Verschoor, laying it to Joosje Burg who played the ball into the circle where Frédérique Matla was waiting to slap into the corner.
Joosje Burg’s snap-shot wide on her reverse served further notice of intent as Den Bosch bossed the first quarter.
But Amsterdam found their form in brilliant fashion. Elsemiek deflected a sharp chance just over the bar and they were level when Noor de Baat broke through a series of challenges and crossed for Filiz Tuzgöl who was waiting the back post to score her first EHL goal.
De Baat was unplayable in this phase and she set up Maria Verschoor with another excellent run but Josine Koning produced a stunning save to deny her at close quarters.
Den Bosch, against the run of play, responded brilliantly with Margot van Geffen’s excellent interception was followed by an outstanding run around the right baseline and her cross was perfect for Matla, netting her 12th goal in five EHL games.
The second half started quietly but burst into life when Floor de Haan picked a brilliant overhead line from left to right which Fay van der Elst controlled superbly. She twisted and turned onto her open side and then smashed home with a tracer-bullet into the bottom left corner.
The final quarter was a pulsating battle with Lidewij Welten’s influence growing bigger and bigger. Both sides had corner chances and big video reviews to contend with, Den Bosch getting a corner on the final hooter but Amsterdam dug in and defended the chance brilliantly to send the game to a shoot-out.
Like the semi-final, Anne Veenendaal was superb, keeping out three of the Den Bosch chances while Maria Verschoor, Floor de Haan – from a stroke – and Noor de Baat all scored to earn the host club a memorable victory.
“It was a very exciting final,” said Veenendaal. “There was so much happening and I am so happy we were able to fight so hard and come out in the end.
“We have a lot of very talented young players and I am so proud they were able to step up and show how good they are. They were immense. We were underdogs and had nothing to lose; even reaching the final with all the injuries we had, just so happy!”
AH&BC Amsterdam – Den Bosch 2-2 (1-2)
5’ Frédérique Matla 0-1
18’ Filiz Tüzgol 1-1
25’ Frédérique Matla 1-2
41’ Fay van der Elst 2-2