Fumbling breaks up FC Groningen in Waalwijk, Dalmau saves FC Utrecht
For the first time this Eredivisie season, FC Groningen went without a win three times in a row on Saturday. Shooter in the defense led to a 3-1 defeat at RKC Waalwijk. Earlier in the evening, FC Utrecht won 0-1 against Fortuna Sittard thanks to Adrián Dalmau.
On a visit to Brabant, FC Groningen already faced a 2-0 deficit within fifteen minutes and the team of coach Danny Buijs could blame it entirely on itself. Ko Itakura and Bart van Hintum handed in the ball and AZ mercenary Thijs Oosting benefited twice.
The Groningers were lucky that it stayed that way, but came back into the game before half time. Ahmed El Messaoudi hit hard and high and thus gave the visitors perspective again.
In the second half, Groningen insisted, but that did not yield many great opportunities. Substitute Kian Slor was still close to the equalizer, but he hit the post from close by. Sylla Sow ultimately determined the final score at 3-1.
The defeat is a bitter pill for FC Groningen, which could have approached number five Feyenoord to two points. ‘The Pride of the North’ remains sixth, but has certainly not yet reached the play-offs to participate in the new Conference League.
RKC recorded an important victory in the battle for survival. As number fourteen of the Eredivisie, the team of coach Fred Grim is now five points separate from the relegation places.
Dalmau gives Utrecht a deserved victory
FC Utrecht dominated against Fortuna Sittard from the start. The predominance resulted in great opportunities for the team of trainer René Hake, but Willem Janssen (header), Hidde ter Avest (shot), Bart Ramselaar (only on the keeper) and Mimoun Mahi (shot) did not get the ball in.
At the stroke of half time, FC Utrecht finally seemed to take the lead, but Gyrano Kerk’s opening goal was disallowed due to just offside.
After half time, the game seemed to be heading for a goalless draw, but substitute Dalmau changed that in the 81st minute. The Spaniard, who had been in the field for less than five minutes, finished from close range after a nice dribble by Mahi. It was only the fourth Eredivisie goal of the season for Dalmau, who had been struck down by an injury in the past four weeks.
Thanks to the victory, FC Utrecht remains in the race for a place in the play-offs for European football. The Domstedelingen are seventh and have three points more than number eight FC Twente, while they also played one game less. Because leader Ajax and number four Vitesse are in the cup final, the numbers five to eight play play-offs.
A good series comes to an end for Fortuna Sittard. The Limburgers, who have won three of their last five matches, are as good as certain of preserving their lives in the Eredivisie.