Van Gassel keeps Excelsior on their feet at Vitesse with skill and determination
Watch the summary of Vitesse – Excelsior
In the fight against relegation, Vitesse repelled an attack by Excelsior. Although plenty happened especially in the second half, no goals fell in Arnhem.
The numbers thirteen and sixteen in the premier league initially made a dragon of a match, with a first half to quickly forget. But immediately after halftime the game came fully to life, with a phase in which Stijn van Gassel miraculously kept the visitors on their feet.
Help from the crossbar
Van Gassel saved handsomely on efforts by Million Manhoef and Kacper Kozlowski, and in between he only just pushed a header by Melle Meulensteen out of his goal via the underside of the crossbar.
Kozlowski in particular was a plague on the Rotterdam defense after that. And Ryan Flamingo was also dangerous, from a scrimmage.
Excelsior played very nice soccer under the Arnhem pressure at times, but hardly got any chances to win the game. The best opportunity was for Peer Koopmeiners, who shot over from the edge of the penalty area.
Watch the interview with standout Stijn van Gassel below:
Excelsior standout Van Gassel: ‘My clothes are pretty dirty’
Van Gassel in particular prevented Vitesse from playing safe in the closing stages upon the return of Phillip Cocu, the coach who missed two games due to appendicitis. His substitution Gabriel Vidovic could have been a golden one, but the substitute shot wide from a promising position in the final minute.
Excelsior, despite the point won, drops to the sixteenth spot due to rival Emmen’s win, which results in promotion-degradation games at the end of the season. Vitesse is only three points above them and so must also be careful.