FC Utrecht stand firm in Zwolle, beating PEC 2-1 and placing themselves for the quarterfinal of the KNVB Cup.
FC came out the winners in a heaving cup match this evening (Wednesday). In the MAC3Park Stadium they turned round a 1-0 deficit in the second half. Goals by Kevin Conboy and Richairo Zivkovic produced a 2-1 victory and a place in the quarterfinal of the KNVB Cup.
Frenzied. Euphoric. Ecstatic. The 500 travelling Utrecht supporters experienced all the superlatives in the dictionary in the 93rd minute in Zwolle. Richairo Zivkovic converted a penalty to decide the game in Utrecht’s favour and claim a place in the next round: 2-1.
Long time coming
Utrecht won the game at the very end. And they won it on the strength of their character. You could even say it was typical of trainer/coach Erik ten Hag’s team. The covctory took a long time coming in Zwolle, but it came and it was deserved.
First half for the Blue Fingers
The PEC Zwolle players thought they would be continuing their cup adventure for a long part of the game. They took the lead after just seven minutes thanks to Nicolai Brock-Madsen (1-0) and held it in front of the home crowd for most of the match. Apart from about five minutes at the start of the first half, Utrecht had little to say against the Blue Fingers. Even though PEC didn’t have many opportunities apart from a huge chance that was deflected by goalkeeper David Jensen, they were certainly the better team.
Drawing on new strengths
But they were playing against FC Utrecht. And FC Utrecht drew on new strengths after the break, the right strengths, the great strengths that have served the team so well this season. The equaliser came ten minutes before time. Sofyan Amrabat floated a cross towards goal, Richairo Zivkovic flicked it on and Kevin Conboy headed it into the net to put Utrecht back in the game: 1-1.
Utrecht took control of the game in the final ten minutes. Would the game drag on to a draw and extra time? No way, José! Utrecht kept pressing and went through. After having knocked out former cup winners FC Twente and FC Groningen, Utrecht brushed the 2014 cup winner to one side. A celebration in the away section and big grins among the players. The cup dream will live on in 2017.
PEC Zwolle - FC Utrecht 1-2 (1-0)
8. Nicolai Brock-Madsen 1-0
81. Kevin Conboy 1-1
90+3. Richairo Zivkovic (penalty) 1-2
Yellow cards: Ted van de Pavert and Dirk Marcellis (PEC Zwolle); Willem Janssen (FC Utrecht).
Referee: Björn Kuipers.
PEC Zwolle line-up:
Mickey van der Hart; Bart Schenkeveld, Dirk Marcellis, Ted van de Pavert, Bram van Polen; Wout Brama, Danny Holla (66. Mustafa Saymak); Queensy Menig, Ryan Thomas (75. Kingsley Ehizibue), Django Warmerdam (79. Wouter Marinus); Nicolai Brock-Madsen.
FC Utrecht line-up:
David Jensen; Giovanni Troupée (80. Sean Klaiber), Mark van der Maarel, Ramon Leeuwin, Robin van der Meer (46. Kevin Conboy); Willem Janssen, Sofyan Amrabat, Yassin Ayoub, Nacer Barazite; Richairo Zivkovic, Gyrano Kerk.