FC Utrecht lose 4-3 to PEC Zwolle.
FC Utrecht came off second best in a match that will be talked about for a long time to come. PEC Zwolle held on to the points in Overijssel: 4-3.
For FC Utrecht, the away fixture against PEC Zwolle changed from a morale booster to a Disappointment with a capital D in less than 15 minutes. With 75 minutes on the clock, Urby Emanuelson was shown a red card and Utrecht were down to ten men. Utrecht were leading by the smallest of margins with the score at 2-1. To the delight of the away supporters, a perfect shot into the top corner by Jean-Christophe Bahebeck then made it 3-1. Victory and a welcome morale booster looked just minutes away.
Van Duinen match winner
But 20 minutes later Mike van Duinen poked the ball into the net to end the game 4-3 for PEC Zwolle. Deep into injury time and cheered on by thousands of Blue Fingers, the PEC Zwolle striker had scored the match winner. The game had been turned completely upside down in less than 15 minutes.
The striker had also struck home five minutes earlier. But then from the penalty spot. The 13,000 spectators in the MAC3PARK Stadium hadn’t expected a penalty but referee Björn Kuipers pointed resolutely at the spot. Nicolas Gavory’s foul on Kingsley Ehizibue, he decided, was inside the penalty area, not outside. Yellow for the Frenchman, penalty for PEC Zwolle. And Van Duinen converted it: 3-3. The goal gave Jaap Stam’s PEC Zwolle the extra boost they needed to take all they could from 10-man Utrecht in the dying minutes.
Lam fires the starting shot to besiege the Utrecht goal
The starting shot for the final offensive was fired by Thomas Lam. The Blue Fingers’ defender scored just five minutes after Bahebeck had made it 3-1. To make sure that earlier goals by Simon Gustafson (1-0, a beautiful shot following good work by Riechedly Bazoer) and Timo Letschert (after Vito van Crooij had levelled the score at 1-1, the Utrecht defender headed home a corner to take back the lead: 2-1) were worth three points, or at least one, 10-man Utrecht did all they could to withstand 11-man PEC Zwolle. Head trainer Dick Advocaat’s team did their best, but it wasn’t enough on the artificial pitch in Overijssel.
Next challenge: PSV at home
The next challenge for Advocaat’s team is a home fixture against the league leaders. The match against PSV kicks off in the Galgenwaard at 16.45 next Sunday. Tickets for the big match against the Eindhoveners are already on sale ONLINE and in the FC Utrecht Fanshop.
PEC Zwolle - FC Utrecht 4-3 (1-1)
7. Simon Gustafson 0-1
25. Vito van Crooij 1-1
59. Timo Letschert 1-2
75. Jean-Christophe Bahebeck 1-3
80. Thomas Lam 2-3
90. Mike van Duinen (penalty) 3-3
90+5. Mike van Duinen 4-3
Yellow cards: Thomas Lam, Younes Namli, Kenneth Paal (PEC Zwolle), Riechedly Bazoer, Jean-Christophe Bahebeck, Nicolas Gavory, Timo Letschert (FC Utrecht).
Red cards: 71. Urby Emanuelson (FC Utrecht) and Riechedly Bazoer (FC Utrecht, after the match).
Referee: Björn Kuipers.
PEC Zwolle line-up:
Mickey van der Hart; Kingsley Ehizibue, Bram van Polen, Thomas Lam, Kenneth Paal; Ouasim Bouy (71. Zian Flemming), Pelle Clement, Younes Namli; Vito van Crooij (81. Stanley Elbers), Lennart Thy, Mike van Duinen.
FC Utrecht line-up:
David Jensen; Sean Klaiber, Timo Letschert, Willem Janssen, Nicolas Gavory; Riechedly Bazoer (81. Gyrano Kerk), Joris van Overeem, Urby Emanuelson, Simon Gustafson; Jean-Christophe Bahebeck (76. Mark van der Maarel), Sander van de Streek.