In the 86th minute the supporters once more cleared their throat and as one stood up for FC Utrecht to push them, almost literally, towards the goal of the opponent. Towards the Cityside, towards the goal defended by Remko Pasveer. That is where it had to happen for FC Utrecht, chasing the lead that, based on the proportions on the pitch, would have been deserved.
In the final minutes the team from Dom City did get a few chances. For example with Sean Klaiber, who saw a firing shot after a good solo cleared by Pasveer. The goalkeeper also saw a header by Willem Janssen go over and seemed to look a shot by Simon Gustafson out of his goal. FC Utrecht lacked luck at that point.
Kerk and Strieder dangerous
Not only at that moment in the game Utrecht lacked luck. Earlier in the evening in an atmospheric Stadium Galgenwaard Gustafson put Gyrano Kerk eye to eye with Pasveer. The quick striker first hit the goalkeeper and in the rebound hit the post. Moments before the Vitesse fans took a relieved breath when the Gelderland goalkeeper with effort saved on a hard shot y Rico Strieder.
Van de Streek scores against former team
The Utrecht player who did beat the Arnhem goalkeeper is Sander van de Streek. The player, who had a big part of his education with Vitesse, opened the score after fifteen minutes into the game. After a good assist by Kerk, van de Streek headed the ball into the goal. It was the 56th FC Utrecht play-off goal, more than any other club in the final round as played since the beginning of this century.
Matavz scores ninth play-off goal
FC Utrecht could not enjoy their lead for more than fifteen minute. Tim Matavz left goalkeeper Nick Marsman – substitue for the injured David Jensn – no chance when he tuched the ball after a corner. It was the ninth play-off goal for the Slovenian, who is topscorer of the play-offs that started in season 2005/2006.
Sold out away stand for return
Tuesday the return in the play-off finals for Europan football will be played. In the game that starts 20.45 in the Arnhem Gelredome it will become clear which of the two teams will play European football in season 2019/2020. One thing is sure already: FC Utrecht will receive maximum support as the away stand if completely sold out. The thousandth and last ticket was sols ten minutes before the first leg started in Utrecht.
FC Utrecht - Vitesse 1-1 (1-1)
18. Sander van de Streek 1-0
31. Tim Matavz 1-1
Yellow cards: Lukas Görtler (FC Utrecht), Thulani Serero, Bryan Linssen (Vitesse).
Referee: Jeroen Manschot.
Line-up FC Utrecht:
David Jensen; Sean Klaiber, Emil Bergström, Willem Janssen, Nicolas Gavory; Rico Strieder (81. Urby Emanuelson), Lukas Görtler (87. Mark van der Maarel), Simon Gustafson; Gyrano Kerk, Cyriel Dessers (81. Michiel Kramer), Sander van de Streek.
Remko Pasveer; Vyacheslav Karavaev, Maikel van der Werff, Danilho Doekhi, Alexander Büttner (74. Max Clark); Martin Ødegaard, Navarone Foor, Thulani Serero, Bryan Linssen; Tim Matavz (65. Thomas Buitink), Mohammed Dauda.