Pinoké the dutch men’s champs for first time

Pinoké produced a remarkable performance to win the Dutch men’s Hoofdklasse championship for the first time as they got the best of Bloemendaal 4-0.

The scoreline, though, only tells part of the story of a tense final which was balanced on a knife-edge until the closing 10 minutes.

Level at 1-1 after the first leg, Pinoké took the lead just before half-time when they recovered a loose penalty corner move, firing the ball to Marlon Landbrug who deflected in from close range.

Bloemendaal dominated the third quarter, penning Pinoké into their own 23 for long periods and they did find the goal only for the video umpire to rule the effort out.

And Pinoké took that reprieve brilliantly; they doubled the lead from an Alex Hendrickx corner with 10 minutes to go and then Landbrug chipped in another peach of a goal. 

Morris de Vilder, another kid from the club, then tapped into an open goal for a 4-0 lead which sparked tears on the bench long before the final whistle.

For Landbrug, who came up through the club, it is something truly special as he told “I am enjoying this moment very much. We’ve come a long way. Five years ago we were in the play-outs with this team. 

“And look how many boys come here from their own youth. I have been on a team with some for fifteen years. So cool.”

Asked about his role with the crucial goals: “I only score in games that matter! 

“It was already special that I made it 1-0. Then we got tough. Their goal was disallowed, we were under real pressure. Mentally it was difficult. But we pulled each other through.

“But you know, it’s not about me at all right now. This is what matters to me,” says Landbrug, while being hugged by a fan. “The fact that we can all celebrate this together. That’s what I’m most proud of.”