ADO Ladies crash in champions league debut
ADO ladies who last season dominated Dutch football and are also doing well this season entered new territory on Thursday night. The reigning champions of Holland got to play their first ever game in the UEFA Women’s Champions League (UWCL).
Everybody involved with the ladies team knew that the challenge was going to be a tough one. Their opponents were the reigning Russian champions, FC Rossiyanka, a club based near to Moscow. In last seasons UWCL competition ADO’s visitors knocked out FC Twente ladies in the first round. ADO wanted to be sure not to follow their Dutch counterparts’ similar exit and had prepared hard for this match.
A tough match was an understatement. Rossiyanka dealt with ADO the same way ADO have been dealing with their opposition in Holland over the past year. They were big, physically strong, and fast and their passing was first rate. At times ADO could not live with them.
ADO got off to the worst possible start going a goal down in a minute. A penalty was awarded for a soft foul and Natalia Shlyapina put the spot kick away with ease, 0-1.
After going a goal down the ADO defence totally lost their composure, giving the ball away with regularity and twice back passes were short and only quick thinking and reactions by Barbara Lorshyd kept the visitors at bay. ADO was being given a footballing lesson by the Russians.
Twenty minutes into te game and suddenly ADO switched on, young 15 year old Lineth Beerensteyn and Renate Jansen began to have a go. This gave the defence a much needed break and also saw Shots begin to rain in on the opposition goal, unfortunately they could not hit the target.
Just as the first half was ending, Rossiyanka scored again. Lorsheyd was forced into a save only for the rebound to fall nicely to Tatiana Skotnikova who finished off with a neat finish 0-2.
Everybody hoped ADO would begin differently in the second half and give themselves a chance over the two legs of this round. ADO tried the psychological mind games by returning to the pitch much later than the Russian team. It didn’t help. The visitors hit the crossbar a minute after the restart.
The one major difference in the second half was the aggression being shown by the ADO players, the Russians were falling over like skittles. This ploy seemed to work as ADO began to play the long ball game: Basically several races between Jansen of ADO and Elvira Topua in the opposing goal. The keeper coming out on top, apart from when both went in wholeheartedly for a fifty-fifty ball in which both were injured and needed treatment. Topua struggled through the rest of the game.
In the sixty fourth minute Skotnikova got her second goal to make it 0-3. ADO still fought on and never gave up, despite being under so much pressure and Lorsheyd having to be at her most alert, ADO managed to get a goal back in the seventy fourth minute. A long ball for Jansen to chase, this time she got the better of the keeper and from a wide angle knocked the ball home, 1-3.
The joy was short lived as yet another penalty was awarded to Rossiyanka in the seventy seventh minute. The shot by Shlyapina beat the keeper high and wide to her left, 1-4.
At the final whistle ADO players, management and fans knew they had come up against far stronger opposition that they had ever faced before, certainly a learning experience, a lesson they can learn from and improve on. In reality the second leg in Moscow is a foregone conclusion, I can not see ADO scoring four times against this team of strong professional players. Just means that ADO will have to win the league again this season and do it all over again next season.