AZ Women draw in their Eredivisie returnPublished on 15 september 23, 15:35
ZAANSTAD - AZ Women played to a draw in their first league match against Excelsior. Floor Spaan scored the goal for Alkmaar, but in the very last minute of injury time, Rotterdam equalized.
The encounter with Excelsior marked AZ's official return to the top level of women's football in the Netherlands after an absence of nearly twelve years. The Alkmaar team is once again fielding a women's team in the current Azerion Women's Eredivisie.
Under the watchful eyes of the spectators in the packed stands, the players took the field. AZ had the upper hand in the first few minutes, but neither team posed a significant threat. After about ten minutes of play, Bo op de Weegh advanced through the left flank. Her pass found Isa Dekker, but her shot was saved by Excelsior's goalkeeper, Isa Pothof.
The game remained evenly matched for a while. After a short drinks break, Isa Colin delivered a beautiful through-ball to Veerle van der Most. Amidst loud applause, she stormed towards Pothof's goal, but unfortunately, her effort didn't result in a clear threat.
The added time in the first half produced two chances, one for each side. Dekker received the ball on the right side and won a corner. It appeared to be heading perfectly for the goal but ultimately went wide. Later, Kralingers earned a free-kick just outside the AZ goalkeeper Femke Liefting's sixteen-meter area. The attempt was punched away by the goalie. The first half ended goalless.
The second half started with a tough beginning. After fifteen minutes, a foul was committed on Bo op de Weegh. Her self-taken free-kick was caught by Pothof. On the other side, Yaël Mollink executed a good defensive action, thus thwarting Sabrine Ellouzi's attack.
In the 80th minute, the first goal of the season was scored by AZ Women! The freshly-substituted Romaissa Boukakar cleverly headed the ball, and Spaan controlled it, bypassed the last line, and fired the ball into the net from a difficult angle. The score was 1-0.
In the deep injury time, Excelsior equalized to make it 1-1. Liefting touched a hard shot from a Rotterdam player onto the crossbar in the very last minute. It bounced off the bar and went in. Thus, the points were shared.
AZ Women - Excelsior Women 1-1 (0-0)
Azerion Women's Eredivisie
AZ Women Lineup: Femke Liefting; Ginia Caprino, Maudy Stoop, Karlijn Woons, Yaël Mollink; Isa Colin, Bo op de Weegh (74. Desiree van Lunteren), Robin Blom; Veerle van der Most (74. Romaissa Boukakar), Floor Spaan (90+1. Pleun Groot), Isa Dekker.
Excelsior Women Lineup: Isa Pothof; Jikke de Raaff, Bonny Lammers (78. Rachel Kleine), Chelsea Homan (70. Wendy Balfoort), Yentl van Goch; Lynn Groenewegen, Kimberley Smit, Kim Hendriks (46. Lieve van Vliet); Dana Breewel (46. Kathelyn Hendriks), Sabrine Ellouzi, Robine de Ridder.
Scoring: 80. Spaan 1-0, 90+9. Liefting 1-1 (own goal).
Yellow Cards: Caprino, Stoop (AZ).
Referee: Luuk Hendrix.
Photos: Orange Pictures & Soccrates Images