amateur club semifinalist in KNVB cup after win at Utrecht
Amateur club SV Spakenburg has provided a huge stunt in the quarter-finals of the KNVB Cup tournament. Thanks to a 4-1 win at FC Utrecht, Spakenburg became the third amateur club to reach the semifinals of the national cup tournament since the introduction of professional soccer in 1956.
VVSB was the last amateur team to reach the last four in 2016. IJsselmeervogels is the other amateur club to reach the semifinals of the KNVB Cup. Spakenburg’s arch-rival did so in 1975.
A first now beckons for Spakenburg, as both VVSB and IJsselmeervogels were eliminated in the semifinals. Never before had an amateur club reached the final of the cup tournament.
Spakenburg’s opponent will come from one of the three remaining quarter-finals: sc Heerenveen-Feyenoord (Wednesday), PSV-ADO Den Haag and De Graafschap-Ajax (Thursday).
Besides the amateurs of IJsselmeervogels and VVSB, Jong Ajax in 2002 (then as Ajax 2) was the only other team not playing in the honorary or first division to reach the semifinals of the cup. The Amsterdammers were also eliminated in the semifinals.
Strong out of the starting blocks
A hard-fought victory over Katwijk brought Spakenburg into the quarter-finals. FC Utrecht, the number seven of the premier league, was the next hurdle. The home club had to do it without coach Michael Silberbauer. The Dane was home sick, leaving assistant Aleksandar Rankovic at the helm during the match against Spakenburg.
He saw Spakenburg, the number seven of the second division, start the match stronger. Attempts by Floris van der Hoorn and Mark Veenhoven preyed on Utrecht goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas, but the Greek had no answer to a slashing volley by Wimilio Vink.
In the remainder of the first half, the Utrechters slowly took over the initiative and Spakenburg was put under a bit more pressure.
Main role goalkeepers
In the first minutes after halftime, both goalkeepers played leading roles. First Barkas made a crucial save on a drive by Luuk Admiraal, at the other end Damen prevented Utrecht’s equalizer with a fine dive.
Moments later, the Spakenburg goalkeeper was defenseless on a close-range header by Douvikas, but VAR concluded that the Greek was just offside. Utrecht had to get over this disappointment and Spakenburg took advantage of it.
Admiraal again came face to face with Utrecht goalkeeper Barkas and this time he was successful. The home team rallied and Douvikas scored the tying goal with less than half an hour to play.
The home crowd regained hope, but it was quickly dashed after a crisp header by Masies Artien. Floris van der Linden, Spakenburg’s tall top scorer, compounded Utrecht’s humiliation by also making it 4-1.