FC Utrecht were left with one point in the away match against Heracles Almelo. After just four minutes the Domstad players were already 2-0 down, but showed resilience. The result was a 2-2 draw.
‘Here we go’, the stadium speaker cheerfully said, it’s a 2-0 lead already!’ And what was worse is that the ringmaster was right. And that was just after some 4 minutes’ play on the pitch in Overijssel. After just one blink FC Utrecht were already 2-0 down. Jaroslav Navratil was the one who took care of the second goal and gave many Heracles fans the feeling that everything was hunky-dory.
The black-and-whites had underestimated the resilience of FC Utrecht. Though the Domstad team had got off to an abominable start in the Polman Stadium, they managed to keep their heads up high. They already did so before the break, though the nil was still on the board for FC Utrecht. And there were 2 goals on it for Heracles, thanks to Navratil and Brandley Kuwas, who scored 1-0 after 48 seconds.
Van de Streek heads in
In the second half the Utrecht players continued pounding on the Almelo door. And that had an effect, though it took some time. The fourth quarter of the match had just started when Mateusz Klich gave a perfect pass to Sander van de Streek. He headed the ball into the far corner: 2-1.
Goalgetter Van der Maarel strikes again
The strong offensive Utrecht drive only gained weight and the Heracles players seemed to be pretty tired. John Stegeman’s team, playing in a retro outfit because of their 115th anniversary, had to concede one more goal five minutes before the end. After a beautiful shot by Klich, FC Utrecht were allowed a corner which ended up with Willem Janssen. In the first instance Bram Castro saved the team from Overijssel, but when the ball ended up at Mark van der Maarel’s feet, it was bull’s eye. A beautiful hard shot in the corner: 2-2.FC Utrecht then went on the hunt for more and were facing two opponents: Heracles Almelo and time. Time was passing by, and there were not many minutes left. It turned out to be too short to completely turn the match. But the resilience that was shown and the resulting point offer a good prospect as regards the upcoming final game.
Sunday: FC Utrecht – VVV Venlo
On Sunday FC Utrecht will play their last Eredivisie match of the season: at home against VVV-Venlo. The kick-off in Stadium Galgenwaard is at 14:30. It will be a special afternoon at the Herculesplein. Among other things the Di Tommaso trophy will be presented and the new home shirt of the 2018/2019 season will be shown. Tickets are for sale.
Heracles Almelo - FC Utrecht 2-2 (2-0)
1. Brandley Kuwas 1-0
5. Jaroslav Navratil 2-0
68. Sander van de Streek 2-1
85. Mark van der Maarel 2-2
Yellow cards: none
Referee: Kevin Blom.
Line-up Heracles Almelo:
Bram Castro; Tim Breukers, Wout Droste, Robin Pröpper, Bart van Hintum; Reuven Niemeijer, Niels Leemhuis (59. Sebastian Jakubiak), Jamiro Monteiro; Jaroslav Navratil, Brandley Kuwas (79. Paul Gladon), Kristoffer Peterson.
Line-up FC Utrecht:
David Jensen; Sean Klaiber, Dario Dumic, Willem Janssen, Mark van der Maarel; Rico Strieder (65. Anouar Kali), Mateusz Klich, Urby Emanuelson (82. Sylla Sow), Sander van de Streek; Gyrano Kerk, Cyriel Dessers (65. Lukas Görtler).