FC Utrecht and Lech Poznan were well matched Thursday evening. The home game in the third qualifying of the Europa League ended as it stared: 0-0.
Yes, of course, chances were created. There were options for FC Utrecht and possibilities for Lech Poznan. Perhaps more for the Polish team than for the Utrecht team. But there were not many chances created in Stadium Galgenwaard this evening.
The plug in the bathtub
David Jensen was a player to mention. The Utrecht goalkeeper showed his worth this evening. When the Poles created a chance, he was there to save. He was the plug in the Utrecht bathtub, the sealant between the tiles. He prevented Lech Poznan from scoring an away goal. A goal that – as it is in European football – would have counted double.
A few times FC Utrecht were close to a goal as well. On stroke of half time for example when midfielder Zakaria Labyad fired a shot. Goalkeeper Matus Putnocky had to stretch to the maximum to keep his goal clean, but managed to do so. The corner that many counted on did not follow, it was half time immediately.
To be desired
After the break Lech Poznan slowly took over control of the game, but FC Utrecht were tough and persisted. They also did create a few chances, but their shots were not accurate or the final pass was not good enough.
Everything is still possible
Fact is that FC Utrecht played a 0-0 draw against a tough opponent in the home game. That is not a bad starting point in a European game. The conclusion after ninety minutes of football in the third qualifying round of the Europa League is that everything is still possible. Next week? Then the decisive return in Poland follows.
FC Utrecht – Lech Poznan 0-0 (0-0)
Yellow cards: Willem Janssen, Zakaria Labyad and Urby Emanuelson (all FC Utrecht), Volodymyr Kostevych, Lukasz Tralka (both Lech Poznan).
Referee: Aleksandar Stavrev.
Line-up FC Utrecht:
David Jensen; Sean Klaiber, Mark van der Maarel (85. Robin van der Meer), Willem Janssen, Edson Braafheid; Wout Brama (75. Giovanni Troupée), Sander van de Streek, Urby Emanuelson, Zakaria Labyad; Gyrano Kerk, Cyriel Dessers (75. Ramon Leeuwin).
Line-up Lech Poznan:
Matus Putnocky; Emir Dilaver, Rafal Janicki, Nikola Vujadinovic, Volodymyr Kostevych; Maciej Makuszewski (77. Robert Gumny), Lukasz Tralka, Mario Situm; Maciej Gajos, Christian Gytkjaer (69. Nicki Nielsen), Radoslaw Majewski (85. Mihai Radut).