FC Utrecht overtakes Sparta by win in temporarily suspended game
In a nasty Eredivisie match with many fouls, riots and a stupid red card, FC Utrecht recorded a 3-0 win on a visit to Sparta Rotterdam. As a result, both teams are now level with 37 points.
Due to a better goal difference, Sparta retains sixth place, but that is only a palliative. The Rotterdammers will have to do without captain Adil Auassar for the time being: he received a red card for striking early in the second half and can expect a hefty suspension.
Utrecht’s victory will lead to satisfaction for Frans van Seumeren. The club owner has been hoping for a place in the top five for years with his multi-million dollar investments, but has noticed that his team has stagnated considerably.
In a weak and nasty first half from both sides, there were hardly any chances to note. Early in the second half the flame caught in the pan.
During some pushing and pulling at a free kick for Sparta, Rotterdam captain Auassar hit Utrecht player Sean Klaiber in the head with the elbow. Referee Joey Kooij dismissed the incident with a yellow card, but after looking back at the footage at the request of the VAR, he made it red.
The free kick for Sparta stood. Vito van Crooij curled the ball at the post and in the rebound Tobias Lauritsen hit the crossbar. Then objects were thrown onto the pitch from the Sparta crowd towards Utrecht goalkeeper Vasilios Barkas. This prompted Kooij to stop the game.
Ten against eleven
After about ten minutes the game resumed. It took Utrecht a while to get to grips with the maneuvering situation, but from the 65th minute on Sparta’s ten were increasingly put up against the wall. First Klaiber shot just over and not much later a ball intended as a cross from substitute Victor Jensen hit the bar.
In the 74th minute, Danish midfielder Jensen did shoot the goal. In the full penalty area, Sander van de Streek kept the overview and offered Jensen an opportunity. A diagonal shot left Sparta goalkeeper Nick Olij defenseless.
After that, Utrecht left the initiative to Sparta and lurked on the counter. In one such quick counter Jens Toornstra delivered the ball to the free Othman Boussaid. The Belgian made no mistake face-to-face with Olij: 0-2.
A minute later, another Belgian also made it 0-3. Substitute Anthony Descotte scored his first Eredivisie goal with a slide into the far corner. In injury time, Descotte thought he had scored his second, but his goal was disallowed for offside.