Not unique yet, but unforgettable Spakenburg’s cup fairy tale certainly is
Spakenburg’s semi-final place after the sensational 1-4 win at FC Utrecht is not unique in the history of Dutch cup soccer. IJsselmeervogels and VVSB also reached the last four as amateur clubs.
IJsselmeervogels was even named Sports Team of the Year in 1975 for that achievement, after victories over FC Groningen and AZ, among others. In the end, FC Twente was too strong.
Check out some remarkable cup stunts from the past below:
Previous stunts: from scoop IJsselmeervogels to the Wageningen whirlwind
VVSB equaled that feat in 2016 and was eventually halted by FC Utrecht. Even though the amateurs from Noordwijkerhout did not beat any premier league players on their way to the last four, their resurrection against FC Den Bosch in the last ten minutes after trailing 2-0 was heroic.
But then what is the biggest stunt ever?
Cup holder falls against Swift
Five years ago, Swift’s amateurs eliminated cup holder Vitesse in the first round after penalties. And PEC Zwolle’s victories over Ajax (5-1, in 2014) and FC Utrecht over Feyenoord (4-1, in 2003) in the final were unexpected outliers again.
In the 1990s, it happened three times in four years that a first division club made it to the final, but both FC Den Bosch, sc Heerenveen and NEC ultimately failed to win the cup. More surprising then was perhaps NEC’s stunt in the semifinals on a visit to De Meer.
After the victory over Louis van Gaal’s great Ajax (1-2), the entire selection joined Mart Smeets on Studio Sport.
The same Ajax went down 2-0 two years later as brand new world champions on the rock-hard, frozen pitch of first divisionist SC Cambuur. And PSV also once misfired badly, while being superior leaders in the premier league and having just secured European wintering.
PSV-FC Wageningen 1-6
In December 1977, FC Wageningen visited the Philips Stadium. At halftime it was already 0-4, but trainer Kees Rijvers nevertheless believed that his PSV had enough quality to still straighten things out. It ended up being 1-6.
An amateur club in the final of the KNVB Cup. Cup soccer has never been this crazy. So this year something can happen that has never happened in almost seventy years of professional soccer. Saturday night Spakenburg knows its opponent.
KNVB cup quarter-finals
|FC Utrecht-Spakenburg (3)||1-4|
|sc Heerenveen-Feyenoord||Wednesday, 8 p.m.|
|PSV-ADO Den Haag (2)||Thursday, 6:45 p.m.|
|De Graafschap (2)-Ajax||Thursday, 9 p.m.|