AZ against West Ham in hunt for Conference League final – Karlsson in base
Orange-tinged Wolfsburg wins German Women’s Cup
In front of nearly 45,000 spectators – a record – the footballers of VfL Wolfsburg seized the German Cup for the ninth (!) time in a row. SC Freiburg were beaten 4-1 in Cologne.
Orange internationals Lynn Wilms and Dominique Janssen played the entire match for Wolfsburg. Jill Roord was substituted ten minutes before time.
Wolfsburg owed the win to an early own goal by Lisa Karl and hits by Rebecka Blomqvist, Alexandra Popp and Janssen (penalty) after halftime. Shortly before the break, Janina Minge scored the equalizer with her head.
ED: ‘PSV talks about transfer Pepi’
According to Rik Elfrink of the Eindhovens Dagblad, PSV is pushing for the arrival of Ricardo Pepi. The Eindhoveners are reportedly planning to make a bid with Germany’s Augsburg.
Last season, Pepi played on a rental basis for FC Groningen. For the recently relegated club, he scored 12 goals.
Moyes expects exciting night against AZ
West Ham United coach David Moyes knows his team will have to go full out tonight to make things difficult for ‘Alkmaar,’ as he calls AZ.
“They are doing very well in Europe and in the premier league. I think it will be a very open match.”
West Ham coach Moyes: ‘Will have to fight for it against AZ’
Earlier in the day, Ajax announced that goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg is ending his playing career. The 40-year-old goalkeeper will already say goodbye to the supporters of Ajax, the club where he was under contract for the past few seasons, next Sunday during the home game against FC Utrecht.
Stekelenburg returned to Amsterdam in the summer of 2020, having already completed the youth academy at Ajax and spent nine years under the crossbar at the first team (2002-2011). He kept a total of 311 games for Ajax, including 29 after his return.
The Hero of Alkmaar, who felled AZ in 2005
He only has to step onto the steps of the Estádio José Alvalade during Sporting Portugal’s home games or he is invariably reminded by onlookers of that one day: May 5, 2005.
Or better: the 122nd minute of the UEFA Cup semifinal between AZ and Sporting Clube de Portugal that took place then.
In the eighty official matches Miguel Garcia played for Sporting Clube de Portugal, he did score two goals. One of those two goals eighteen years ago marked the 3-2 that sealed the elimination of AZ. It earned him a nickname to which he is bound for life.
A story with O Herói de Alkmaar. The Hero of Alkmaar.
Jansen on returned trio: ‘They make us stronger’
For the first time in 42 years, AZ can qualify for a European final tomorrow. Coach Pascal Jansen’s team is confident that the 2-1 away defeat against West Ham United in Alkmaar can be erased.
That belief is strengthened by the fact that AZ will again have left back Milos Kerkez, midfielder Dani de Wit and winger Jesper Karlsson at their disposal. The trio was missing in London last week. It is expected that Kerkez and Karlsson will start in the starting lineup, Jansen will have to choose between De Wit and Sven Mijnans for the number 10 position.
“The three players returning are important guys. They make us stronger,” Jansen said. “But the hallmark of AZ is that we always do it together.”
AZ coach Jansen ahead of semifinal: ‘Karlsson, De Wit and Kerkez make us stronger’
AZ opposition West Ham United: from working-class club to plaything porn magnate
“Perfect chastity and perfect purity are the sign of a divine life.”
With this pious thought, Arnold Hills founded a company soccer team in 1895 for the employees of his shipyard. The Thames Ironworks F.C. of old is now West Ham United, today owned by – how ironic – a porn magnate.
Coincidentally, this Arnold Hills is the great-great-grandfather of young journalist Frank Hills (25), who grew up in the Netherlands. “His story has been passed down from father to son,” Hills says. West Ham is in the Hills family’s DNA. “My nieces and nephews have season tickets,” he says.
Hills himself also tries to visit an occasional West Ham United game, defending a 2-1 lead in Alkmaar tonight in the Conference League semifinals against AZ.