FC Utrecht beat Ajax Sunday 1-2 in the Amsterdam ArenA. With two goals Zakaria Labyad was the man for FC Utrecht.
You say it. Was it the assist by Sean Klaiber? Or the beautiful movement by Zakaria Labyad? Or the shot the Utrecht Moroccan fired? The shot that Ajax’s goalkeeper Andre Onana did not have an answer to. Well, actually, it was all of that, all in one. The moment. The ball. The bouncing net. The euphoria from the away supporters. The joy in the FC Utrecht squad. With ten minutes left on the clock it all came together in the Amsterdam ArenA for FC Utrecht. 1-1 turned into 1-2. And with that a good Sunday turned into a super Sunday.
A super Sunday, because FC Utrecht won in the Amsterdam ArenA. And that was not undeserved. The home team did have the ball two thirds of the game, but trainer/coach Marcel Keizer’s team did not break through the Utrecht defence. Making use of the wingers the Amsterdam team tried to break down the Utrecht wall for ninety minutes, but they did not manage to do real damage.
Straight through the centre
The one Ajax goal that came forth of the excessive possession came after a corner, when Utrecht played the ball out of their box and moved forward. The ball was brought back in between the forward moving defenders and goalkeeper David Jensen and before the Danish goalie could reach the ball, Nick Viergever did so. Straight through the centre, 1-1, just before half time.
At that moment FC Utrecht led for 36 minutes. Trainer/coach Ten Hag’s team already scored in the sixth minute when Gyrano Kerk’s speed and Labyad’s finesse met at exactly the right moment. After a clever pass from Rico Strieder, Kerk kept his cool and the overview. The ball went to Labyad who first hit the post but in the rebound did pass Onana: 0-1.
Five instead of four
The Utrecht battle plan – five defenders instead of the mostly used four – kept up on the moderate pitch in the Amsterdam ArenA. The FC Utrecht players worked hard and most of the times made the right choices. And thus they face the break because of the international contests with a well deserved victory.
Next match: Excelsior at home
Upcoming weekend there will be no games because of the international games. FC Utrecht resume the competition on Sunday 19 November with a home game against Excelsior. Tickets for the game, that starts at 14.30 in Stadium Galgenwaard, are available online and in the FC Utrecht fanshop.
Ajax - FC Utrecht 1-2 (1-1)
6. Zakaria Labyad 0-1
42. Nick Viergever 1-1
84. Zakaria Labyad 1-2
Yellow cards: Lasse Schӧne, Nick Viergever (Ajax), Willem Janssen, Zakaria Labyad, Sean Klaiber (FC Utrecht).
Referee: Bjӧrn Kuipers.
Andre Onana; Veltman, De Ligt, Max Wӧber (63. Daley Sinkgraven), Viergever; Lasse Schӧne (63. Frenkie de Jong), Siem de Jong (77. Donny van de Beek), Hakim Ziyech; David Neres, Kasper Dolberg, Amin Younes.
Line-up FC Utrecht:
David Jensen; Sean Klaiber (86. Giovanni Troupée), Mark van der Maarel, Willem Janssen, Ramon Leeuwin, Urby Emanuelson; Rico Strieder, Yassin Ayoub, Sander van de Streek; Zakaria Labyad, Gyrano Kerk (88. Matty Willock).