After two good wins over Belgian clubs in their first two games of the new BeNe league season, ADO ladies faced Belgian opposition for the third time with a trip to Club Brugge with their confidence flying high. Brugge had not yet won this season and finished bottom of the league last season, so most thought an easy three points in the bag.
Due to the friendship of the two clubs everybody was given a warm welcome, even allowing an ADO flag to be flown at the pitch side, also an exchange of pennants by the captains, so all was going well for now.
The game kicked off and it was clear that Brugge were going to play at a very high tempo and it sort of caught ADO cold. In the third minute they were awarded a free kick on the right. As the ball came in the ADO defence froze momentarily, allowing Nicky Vandenabeele time to powerfully head home unmarked, Lorsheyd went ballistic at her defenders for the lapse of concentration, 1-0.
ADO almost responded quickly, Grimberg having an effort blocked well by Kim Dossche in the Brugge goal. Unfortunately this turned out to be the only real save of note she had to make. ADO were relying on long distance shots and efforts from free kicks, all which were only just going over or wide of the woodwork, it was to be one of those nights where there shooting boots had been left back in The Hague.
The game was played at pace and the tackling hard, it is rare you see a trainer on the pitch at women’s games, as they don’t play act and feign injury like the men doo. This game saw the trainers on at least five times, it was a full bloodied encounter between two teams determined to win. The tough tackling ended up with Myrusha Victoria limping off after being on the end of a very painful looking kick.
The second half was the same as the first. Brugge swarming forward at every opportunity, pushing ADO backwards. Captain Lucienne Reichardt was leading by example and threw herself into everything, driving her team mates to match her fight and spirit. Mandy van Dijk and Tula de Wit also stood out with their performances. Renate Jansen was as ever offering herself in wide positions leading the attacks, giving the defence time to get their collective breaths back.
ADO just could not get back into the game and find that all important goal. In the eighty third minute the home side sealed their victory. They were awarded a free kick outside the penalty area and it was struck home brilliantly into the back of the net by Silke Demeyere, 2-0.
In the dying minutes it could have been much worse for ADO. The hosts had their tails up and went looking for more goals. It was only Barbara Lorsheyd who kept the score respectable, firstly with a flying save at full stretch to push the ball away, later she dived bravely at the feet of a forward in a one on one battle of nerves.
At the final whistle the Brugge players went crazy, as did their small group of supporters. They deserved their win, their energy and speed were too much for ADO on the night. On another night it could have been a draw, if only ADO had a better night with their shots being on target.
The one highlight for the ADO team was the return of Paolo van der Veen who had been sidelined with an injured ankle for several months. Her cameo role as substitute was welcomed, great to see her back on the pitch in the ADO shirt. ADO are still missing two more of their first choice players through injury, Lineth Beerensteyn and Marelle Worm.
ADO player of the match: Lucienne Reichardt