48 years after ‘reds’ reach semifinals – ‘Amateurs’ humiliate FC Utrecht: 4-1

48 years after ‘reds’ reach semifinals – ‘Amateurs’ humiliate FC Utrecht: 4-1

More sensations on the way?

The first sensation is a fact in the quarter-finals of the KNVB Cup. Will more follow? Tomorrow it is Feyenoord’s turn to travel to Heerenveen. Thursday, PSV hosts Dick Advocaat’s ADO Den Haag. And Ajax faces a hot night in Doetinchem.

Program and results in the quarter-finals of the KNVB Cup.

Nightmare for assistant coach Rankovic: ‘Utrecht unworthy’

“This is Utrecht unworthy,” thought Utrecht assistant coach Aleksandar Rankovic, who replaced sick coach Michael Silberbauer tonight. “You can analyze everything, but it starts in the first minute. They put so much more energy into the game, if you can’t match that, you’re going to be in trouble. We didn’t taste anything this week from underestimation.”

Spakenburg coach De Graaf sees boyhood dream come true: ‘This is my club’

Spakenburg coach Chris de Graaf.

“I grew up here,” Spakenburg coach Chris de Graaf told reporters after the cup tie against FC Utrecht. “This is my club, I’ve been with this club since I was five years old. That I can then guide my club to the semifinals of the cup…. If someone has to do it, let it be me. I can be very cool and often have guts with statements. But 4-1 I didn’t expect it.”

Beforehand, he received an app from Feyenoord assistant John de Wolf, with whom he worked in the past at Spakenburg. “He wrote ‘success friend.’ And he invited me to the semifinals if we were eliminated. I wrote back: No need for that, because we are playing the semifinals against Feyenoord.”

One possible problem, though: if Spakenburg were to reach the final of the KNVB Cup, it would have to play on Sunday. And that is sensitive in the village, where faith still plays a big role. “Well,” De Graaf responded. “If it’s up to me, we’ll just go.”

Spakenburg captain: ‘Hou, op schei uit. Nobody believes this’

Spakenburg celebrates in front of more than 2,000 travelling supporters.

“Stop it, cut it out. Nobody believes this,” was the reaction of Spakenburg captain Floris van der Linden, who scored an assist and a goal against Utrecht, at ESPN.

What stood out was that Spakenburg put pressure on the premier league side from the start. “The coach was talking about twenty minutes, I said let’s start with five. But fair is fair, we had the best chances. You can expect a bit more from Utrecht. But it wasn’t until the 85th minute that I started calculating and knew, this is going to work.

Whether he already realized what had happened? “I could say yes, but of course that’s nonsense. Last time it was four o’clock, now I think it will be a little later. I don’t think I’ll go to work tomorrow.”

Wimilio Vink, the maker of the magnificent opening goal, made it even more bonkers: “I’ve already ordered the tickets for the Europa League.”

Utrecht fans flock to the exit

Immediately after Spakenburg’s 4-1 defeat, the exits from the stands are crowded, as many Utrecht fans can no longer stand to watch this. Not incomprehensible, but Utrecht has played even crazier games this season.

But three goals in just under fifteen minutes? That might be a bit much to ask.

FC Utrecht – Spakenburg (ama.) 1-4

Spakenburg’s recipe in the second half is clear: hold back and if possible switch quickly in depth to the quick Luuk Admiraal. Captain Van der Linden sees Admiraal go, gives a great cross and in his second chance after halftime he hits the mark!

Spakenburg leads 2-0 against FC Utrecht. You read it right. Spakenburg leads 2-0 against FC Utrecht

FC Utrecht – Spakenburg (ama.) 0-2

50′ Huge chances Spakenburg as well as Utrecht!

Utrecht has upped the tempo considerably towards halftime, but when Mike Saignan misses at the back, Luuk Admiraal is completely free to go at goalkeeper Barkas. But the Greek wins and keeps Utrecht in the game.

And right after that there is a life-size chance for the home team when Spankenburg goalkeeper Damen misses, the ball lands via Van der Streek’s head and Boussaid’s foot on Jensen’s head. But now Damen has a great save on his hands.

FC Utrecht – Spakenburg (ama.) 0-1

The ball is rolling again: Spakenburg is 45 minutes away from a sensational spot in the semifinals of the KNVB Cup. Spakenburg never got beyond the eighth finals: in 2020, it lost 7-0 to Ajax in the Johan Cruijff Arena at the time.

It won’t be that now, but the first chance is for Utrecht. Substitute Maeda slides the ball rakishly wide. And also Jensen takes the Spakenburg goal under goal, but Damen saves skilfully.

FC Utrecht – Spakenburg (ama.) 0-1

Basic side Wijnaldum loses – after Mourinho red – with Roma to low-flyer

With Georginio Wijnaldum in the starting line-up for the first time, AS Roma suffered a painful 2-1 defeat in Serie A at Cremonese, a relegation candidate. Roma thus missed the chance to equalize in points with Internazionale and AC Milan, the numbers two and three in Italy.

After his frustration had slowly increased throughout the first 45 minutes, Roma coach José Mourinho’s spirits reached boiling point just after halftime. Mourinho, not for the first time, feted the referee and was able to leave with a red card.

It was the first league win for Cremonese this season.

45′ Brouwers injured to the side

The last ten minutes have become a bit grimmer in De Galgenwaard. Nick Verhagen and Floris van der Linden already received a yellow card, Sander van de Streek escaped a penalty card and now Luuk Brouwers has to go to the side with an ankle injury.

The Utrecht midfielder came down wrong after an aerial duel with the towering Van der Linden. Naoki Maeda is his replacement, but he needs to warm up first. I wonder if he can come in before halftime. Yes, he can.

FC Utrecht – Spakenburg (ama.) 0-1

FC Utrecht is getting a lot of chances now, but their sights are definitely not set yet. Just now Ter Avest headed in free position in the hands of Barkas and then Jensen rammed the ball high over the goal.

The statistics say it all for now: FC Utrecht has shot six times at del so far, but only once inside the posts. Spakenburg made four goal attempts, three of which were on target. Including one goal, of course.

FC Utrecht – Spakenburg (ama.) 0-1

Spakenburg coach De Graaf connects dots

Spakenburg coach Chris de Graaf has his affairs in order for the time being, but sees Utrecht becoming more dominant. Reason for him to talk things over with his players, while goalkeeper Alessandro Damen is being treated after a painful collision with the ground.

It’s not too bad. See if the coach’s words have an effect. “You guys need to get a little more yards,” he seems to be saying.

Spakenburg coach Chris de Graaf.

6′ Another chance for Spakenburg

Spakenburg continues to attack boldly. Mark Veenhoven, the replacement for Youri Koelewijn who was injured last weekend, takes a wonderful shot and gives Utrecht goalkeeper Barkas the necessary problems.

We also just saw some fine feints from Vince-Gino Dekker, who was trained at Ajax, played at Jong AZ and Go Ahead Eagles, but never really managed to break through. Yet millions of Dutch people know his name: the fashion brand Vingino is named after him.

FC Utrecht – Spakenburg (ama.) 0-0

3′ First chances for Spakenburg!

Spakenburg starts this cup duel a lot better than FC Utrecht. First Luuk Admiraal threatened to dribble his way to the goal, but he makes one pirouette too many. Then top scorer and captain Floris van der Linden gets a free header chance, but the striker does not get enough power behind the ball.

A good start for the third divisionist hear!

FC Utrecht – Spakenburg (ama.) 0-0

Spakenburg coach: ‘We play extremely high or extremely low, a plan for both’

Spakenburg is number seven in Jack’s League, the third tier of Dutch soccer after the premier league and first division. Then on paper you are an amateur, but at Spakenburg things are well organized, you know. Moreover, quite a few players have a professional past.

Coach Chris de Graaf prefers to put Utrecht under pressure early on with his team, as they successfully did earlier at FC Groningen (3-2 win). “We have two flavors: either extremely high or extremely low,” the coach told ESPN. “We are trying the first, but we have a plan for both.”

No one is more eager for a nice cup spot than Spakenburg’s goalkeeper

Spakenburg is completely under the spell of the cup. But for goalkeeper Alessandro Damen, the quarterfinal against the FC Utrecht pros is even more special.

Damen himself also played eight years of professional soccer, with Excelsior, Heracles and ADO Den Haag. But he was considered a real late bloomer, because until the age of 24 he played in the amateurs at De Meern. And that is also the club of Frans van Seumeren, the owner of FC Utrecht. Damen started at De Meern at the age of six and joined the first team there in 2009.

As a child, he went to Stadion Galgenwaard with his father and grandfather. Tonight, 32 years old now, he plays there himself in front of packed stands.

Spakenburg goalie Damen hopes for penalty against Utrecht: ‘Do we know what will happen’

Kayleigh Williams