FC Utrecht lost the final in the play-off for European football. After the 3-2 defeat in Arnhem against Vitesse earlier this week, the Gelderland team was too strong again in Utrecht: 1-2
It was what FC Utrecht needed – longed for even. A goal shortly after the break. Mark van der Maarel, who else, scored that goal. He curled the ball into the far corner and beat Jeroen Houwen. 1-2 and 44 minutes left to score two more goals and enforce extra time.
Searching for goals
FC Utrecht gave everything they got, supported by the fans, looking for the equaliser, that much was clear. But whatever trainer/coach Jean Paul de Jong’s team tried, they did not manage to score. Headers, shots, small chances, normal chances, big ones, there were many, but FC Utrecht was not blessed with the luck that was needed to beat the Arnhem defence.
Arnhem opening goal
That FC Utrecht had to push forward full force was because Vitesse scored twice in the first half. After fifteen minutes, in which Utrecht showed their intention and put pressure on Vitesse, David Jensen was beaten. Tim Matavz was ready to tip in an assist by Roy Beerens, but before he could do so, Ramon Leeuwin slid the ball into his own goal: 0-1.
Miazga doubles the lead
Twenty minutes later, at the end of the first half, the Gelderland team gave the final blow when the tall American Matt Miazga headed a corner into the goal: 0-2.
FC Utrecht recovered in the break and started with full force, but was not able to crack the code of the Arnhem safe as often as was needed. This means Vitesse plays the preliminary rounds of the Europa League and FC Utrecht is left empty handed. Exactly 310 days after the first official game of the season, away against Valletta FC, an exciting season came to an end.
FC Utrecht - Vitesse 1-2 (0-2)
18. Ramon Leeuwin (own goal) 0-1
38. Matt Miazga 0-2
46. Mark van der Maarel 1-2
Yellow cards: Zakaria Labyad, Mark van der Maarel, Willem Janssen, Lukas Görtler, Urby Emanuelson (FC Utrecht), Guram Kashia, Luc Castaignos, Thomas Bruns, Matt Miazga (Vitesse).
Referee: Bas Nijhuis.
Line-up FC Utrecht:
David Jensen; Giovanni Troupée (72. Mateusz Klich), Ramon Leeuwin, Willem Janssen, Mark van der Maarel; Anouar Kali, Lukas Görtler, Yassin Ayoub, Sander van de Streek (86. Urby Emanuelson); Gyrano Kerk (62. Cyriel Dessers), Zakaria Labyad.
Jeroen Houwen; Vyacheslav Karavaev, Guram Kashia, Matt Miazga, Alexander Büttner; Thulani Serero, Navarone Foor, Thomas Bruns (72. Maikel van der Werff); Roy Beerens (83. Mukhtar Ali), Tim Matavz, Bryan Linssen (56. Luc Castaignos).