In the last match of 2016 for FC Utrecht, trainer/coach Erik ten Hag’s team shared the points with Roda JC Kerkrade. The match ended as it started in Parkstad Limburg Stadium: 0-0.
Though Sinterklaas may have left the country, there was a knock on the door. An urgent knocking even. It was FC Utrecht who were knocking and it was the defence of the Limburgers who kept their door tightly closed. Well, except for a few moments. Then there was an FC Utrecht foot in the door.
There was such a situation approximately fifteen minutes before the end. Then we saw a big scrimmage just before the goal of the team from Kerkrade. Mark van der Maarel, Sébastien Haller, Nacer Barazite; there were dangerous opportunities galore. It was Benjamin van Leer who managed to get rid of the FC Utrecht foot in the door and firmly slammed it. With all the necessary reflexes he kept a clean sleet.
Janssen’s goal disallowed
The goalkeeper was outwitted once. And this happened quite early in the match. Referee Allard Lindhout disallowed the goal, though from television footage it was quite obvious that it was a valid goal and that it was not off-side.
During the more than eighty minutes that were left after that moment, both teams went for it, but a really spectacular match did not come about. Roda JC who had played a draw in the six matches preceding the one against the FC from the Domstad and who had another draw now, seem to sit back complacently; Yannis Anastasiou’s team, however, also had a few great opportunities. Abdul Ajagun had a few, but the Nigerian handled the opportunities in a very sloppy manner.
Van der Maarel guardian angel
Except for one moment when most of the supporters in the Parkstad Limburg Stadium jumped up. Roda JC Kerkrade were going to score 1-0. That was what many thought. Ajagun just touched the ball too softly, allowing Mark van der Maarel to clear the ball from the goal line. That is what an FC Utrecht defender does.
Nil plus nil is one
And what was the result of it all? It was nil and nil, which means 0-0, so both teams one point. With the draw in Kerkrade an attractive first half of the season came to an end. Trainer/coach Erik ten Hag’s team have a fair position in the Eredivisie and are ready for the quarter final of the KNVB Cup. ‘All to play for’ in 2017, a year when FC Utrecht will start with an away match against Sparta Rotterdam on Sunday 14 January and a year when a home match against Ajax will be the first game in Stadium Galgenwaard on Sunday 22 January.
Roda JC Kerkrade - FC Utrecht 0-0 (0-0)
Yellow cards: Tom van Hyfte (Roda JC Kerkrade).
Referee: Allard Lindhout.
Line-up Roda JC Kerkrade:
Benjamin van Leer; Martin Milec, Chris Kum, Daryl Werker, Ard van Peppen; Marcos Gullon (85. Dani Schahin), Adil Auassar, Tom van Hyfte, Abdul Ajagun; Nestor Mytides (78. Mitchel Paulissen), Mikhail Rosheuvel (90+2. Farshad Noor).
Line-up FC Utrecht:
David Jensen; Mark van der Maarel, Ramon Leeuwin, Willem Janssen (29. Giovanni Troupée), Robin van der Meer; Darren Rosheuvel (53. Andreas Ludwig), Sofyan Amrabat, Yassin Ayoub, Nacer Barazite (88. Sean Klaiber); Richairo Zivkovic, Sébastien Haller.