Willem II seemed to be on his way to a stunt against Ajax for a long time. In its own King Willem II Stadium it held out against the team from Amsterdam for a long time, but eventually stepped off the field empty-handed after a late goal.
Before the match it was not a question of whether Willem II would lose, but with which figures. The stands, which were filled for the first time in ages, were almost begged to keep it below five. But after the first whistle, that fear was gone. The ‘we are not afraid of anyone’ was used and the eleven players on the field made it very difficult for the leader from the Eredivisie.
The wind and heavy rain didn’t make playing football any easier either. Willem II certainly didn’t have much ball possession in that first half, but Jizz Hornkamp perhaps gave it the greatest chance. After Daley Blind lost the ball, Daniel Crowley sent wing attacker Ché Nunnely into the depths. He passed the ball to Hornkamp, but the striker shot wide from a very promising position.
The longer the match lasted, the more pressure Ajax tried to put towards Timon Wellenreuther’s goal. That also provided room for the team of trainer Fred Grim. The coach saw after ten minutes of play that Max Svensson had an excellent opportunity to open the score. The winger shot eye to eye with Remko Pasveer, however, just wide of Ajax’s goal.
In the next attack it was a hit for Ajax. Dusan Tadic gave Wellenreuther no chance. While everyone was ready for kick-off, referee Pol van Boekel announced that they had to wait. The VAR made several lines and saw that Antony was offside in the attack. No goal. It was the reason for the fans to stand behind the team even more. For the team from Amsterdam it was the motivation to put even more pressure towards Willem II’s goal.
With twenty minutes left on the clock, Thijs Oosting prevented a goal from Davy Klaassen with a very good sliding. The midfielder of Ajax had already passed Wellenreuther, but was unable to get the ball into the goal thanks to the sliding Oosting. A few minutes later, the Tilburg team gets away well when the ball comes back into the field via the post. The home team had their backs against the wall, but with a result in their hands no one had any problems with that.
While it seems to be raining harder and harder, time is ticking away. And so the goal that falls ten minutes before the end is extra hard. Defender Jurriën Timber cleared the ball at the far post from Antony’s cross.
More and more everything and everyone at Willem II started to hope for a stunt against Ajax, but the ‘passion, struggle and lion’s courage’ turned out not to be enough. And so Willem II lost again, although the fact that the team managed to hold out for a long time and only had to deal with one goal gave hope for the next game. That is next Saturday, out at FC Groningen.