With a good feeling into the play-offs

14 mei 2017

FC Utrecht beat AZ 2-3 in Alkmaar.

This afternoon (Sunday) FC Utrecht said good riddance to AZ in a crazy match. The players from Utrecht won 2-3 in the AFAS Stadium in a match that could have had a final score of let’s say 9-9. But the Domstad players won and will be heading for the play-offs with a good feeling.

The walk to the away fanzone, taking your team mates by the hand and cheering ‘Hey! Hey! Hey!’. That’s a good feeling and that is good for the spirit. That’s exactly what you would like to experience, when you know that the all-decisive play-offs will start in three days. When you realize that you have to be there again… That you have to be ready to get cracking again and you need to win.

Seven changes, three goals, three points
And this is exactly how FC Utrecht boarded the play-offs. Trainer/coach Erik ten Hag had changed his team in seven positions compared to the previous match against Vitesse, but that did not affect the Domstad players. They beat the number five of the ranking. Thanks to goals by Richairo Zivkovic (0-1 after more than 30 minutes), a splendid free kick by Zakaria Labyad (0-2: a couple of minutes later) and a scorcher by Nacer Barazite (1-3: about ten minutes after the break).

Two goals back
FC Utrecht had more than enough opportunities to score more goals, but that also applied for the home team. They scored twice; an own goal by Mark van der Maarel just after the break (1-2) and a goal by Alireza Jahanbakhsh (2-3; with still a quarter of the match to be played). But no more than two goals were scored by trainer John van den Brom’s team.

Where are we going to?
While there was more than enough to see in the AFAS Stadium, many fans focused on page 818 of NOS Teletext to see the scores of sc Heerenveen, Heracles Almelo and FC Groningen. Will it be a drive to Polman Stadium, the Noordlease Stadium or the Abe Lenstra Stadium? After just over ninety minutes the result was: FC Utrecht will go to Friesland. In the semi-final of the play-offs for European football sc Heerenveen are the first opponent.

Double encounter with sc Heerenveen
The away match against the Frisians is on Wednesday and starts at 18:30 hrs. On Saturday the kick-off is at 18:30 hrs, but then in Stadium Galgenwaard, when it is the return of the semi-final.

AZ - FC Utrecht 2-3 (0-2)
32. Richairo Zivkovic 0-1
35. Zakaria Labyad 0-2
51. Mark van der Maarel (own goal) 1-2
53. Nacer Barazite 1-3
68. Alireza Jahanbakhsh 2-3

Yellow cards: Wout Weghorst (AZ), Mark van der Maarel, Ramon Leeuwin (both FC Utrecht).

Red card: 34. Jonas Svensson (AZ, pulling down a broken through player).

Attendance: 14,601.

Referee: Martin van den Kerkhof.

Line-up AZ:
Tim Krul; Jonas Svensson, Rens van Eijden, Derrick Luckassen, Thomas Ouwejan; Mats Seuntjens (79. Joris van Overeem), Iliass Bel Hassani (44. Mattias Johansson), Stijn Wuytens; Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Wout Weghorst, Levi Garcia (84. Jeremy Helmer).

Line-up FC Utrecht:
Robbin Ruiter; Mark van der Maarel, Ramon Leeuwin (69. Sofyan Amrabat), Edson Braafheid, Robin van der Meer; Wout Brama (56. Darren Rosheuvel), Sean Klaiber, Andreas Ludwig, Zakaria Labyad (55. Nick Venema); Nacer Barazite, Richairo Zivkovic.

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