For the fourth time in a row FC Utrecht ended a match in a tie in the Erededivisie. Today (Sunday) trainer/coach Jean-Paul de Jong’s squad ended the match in a 2-2 tie. Two beautiful  goals did not bring the Utrechters the desired victory.

Mark van der Maarel is not the kind of player you regularly see in a floating position in the opponent’s box. However, he was seen in that position in Kralingen this afternoon. In the box the defender could detach himself from the pitch, reached out and placed his forehead against the ball. The ball bounced from the defender’s forehead at break-neck speed. Theo Zwarthoed jumped, swung his arms and heard from the sound how the ball hit the net: goal. The 1-1 was a fact. FC Utrecht had managed to quickly evaporate the Excelsior lead halfway through the first half.

Elbers opens the score
Three minutes before Van der Maarel stole the show with an effective acrobatic dive on the artificial pitch in Kralingen, the Excelsior fans were cheering. Stanley Elbers had managed to defeat goalkeeper David Jensen: 1-0.

Labyad scores
From that moment there were opportunities at both ends and the question was: which team would take the lead? After fifteen minutes before the end of the match the answer was given: FC Utrecht. From a free kick Zakaria Labyad beautifully curled the ball into the top corner. The wall was bypassed and Zwarthoed was beaten: goal. And that meant 1-2. ‘We should not give away this score’, was what you heard the FC Utrecht fans tell each other.

Faik has the last say
Three minutes later that view could be ditched into the river Maas. With a beautiful shot Hicham Faik put the 2-2 on the board. With a diagonal shot he fired the ball into the top corner. Jensen was unable to answer the swipe with a Goal of the week level. In the final fifteen minutes of the match FC Utrecht tried to get their first league victory of the calender year, but were unable to get through the Rotterdam defensive lines.
Wednesday: Sparta home
The next match with a Rotterdam opponent is on Wednesday. Sparta Rotterdam with former FC Utrecht player Dick Advocaat will then be visiting Stadium Galgenwaard.

Excelsior - FC Utrecht 2-2 (1-1)
22. Stanley Elbers 1-0
25. Mark van der Maarel 1-1
73. Zakaria Labyad 1-2
76. Hicham Faik 2-2

Yellow cards: Dogucan Haspolat (Excelsior), Gyrano Kerk (FC Utrecht).

Attendance: 3,997.

Referee: Joey Kooij.

Line-up Excelsior:
Theo Zwarthoed; Khalid Karami, Jurgen Mattheij, Wout Faes, Lorenzo Burnet; Dogucan Haspolat (76. Kevin Vermeulen), Hicham Faik, Ali Messaoud; Stanley Elbers, Mike van Duinen, Anouar Hadouir (70. Levi Garcia).

Line-up FC Utrecht:
David Jensen; Giovanni Troupée (59. Cyriel Dessers), Ramon Leeuwin, Willem Janssen, Mark van der Maarel; Rico Strieder, Sean Klaiber, Yassin Ayoub, Zakaria Labyad; Mateusz Klich (59. Sander van de Streek), Gyrano Kerk (85. Bilal Ould-Chikh).