Ajax women deny Twente lead in thrilling battle for title
Ajax’s women recorded a 1-0 win in the topper against leaders FC Twente. This turned the odds in the title race with one match to go. Ajax is now on top, one point ahead of the champion of the past three completed seasons.
Next week the blistering title battle will be decided. In the final round of games on Sunday, May 7, FC Twente will still play Feyenoord at home and the new frontrunner Ajax will then visit PEC Zwolle.
The sun shone for the match of the season, the duel between the number one and number two of the premier league, in front of well-filled stands at De Toekomst. Among those present, of course, was national coach Andries Jonker.
Twente showed the better game and also got the first chance. After Nadine Noordam failed to clear and Suzanne Giesen cleared the ball, Renate Jansen shot at the far post out of reach of Ajax goalkeeper Lize Kop.
Van Domselaar error
In front of the eyes of the national coach, Orange goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar made a weak impression in the first half. Using the bright sun as an excuse, she had trouble with a cross from Ashleigh Weerden and moments later the counter goal could be credited to her.
After a counter by Ajax, right-winger Chasity Grant went for the shot. The effort did not seem dangerous, but Van Domselaar worked the slider right in front of the feet of Tiny Hoekstra, who ran along. Wieke Kaptein’s slide came too late and Hoekstra was able to tap in the 1-0, only Twente’s 5th goals against this season.
Twente did not seem panicked by the deficit and calmly went looking for opportunities. Those came for Elena Dhont and Giesen. However, the Tukkers hardly succeeded in putting striker Fenna Kalma, premier league scorer with 29 goals, in position.
Hit the crossbar twice
So it remained 1-0 until halftime and Twente had to hunt for the equalizer in the second half. The Twente pressure increased and so did the chances for the visitors. Kaptein hit the bar via Lisa Doorn’s leg, Ajax goalkeeper Kop saved on the goal line and Jansen also hit the bar with a shot from distance in the first fifteen minutes after halftime.
In the remainder of the match the better chances on the counter-attack were for Ajax. No more goals were scored and the home team celebrated the victory and the unprecedented turnaround at the top of the Eredivisie. Twente has not been able to keep their title hopes alive this season.
The last time the Ajax women became champions was in the 2017/2018 season. A new championship is close at hand.