VVV turns wide deficit against Willem II into win in playoffs

VVV turns wide deficit against Willem II into win in playoffs
VVV captain Sven Braken provided the equalizer from eleven yards out

NOS Soccer

Despite a poor start in the first game of the nacompetition for promotion/degradation, VVV-Venlo has good papers to advance to the next round.

The Limburgers trailed 2-0 against Willem II in their own stadium, but then dragged out a 3-2 victory.

Playoffs in full swing

The return matches in the first round are next Friday and Saturday, with Willem II and VVV meeting Saturday afternoon at 16:30. In the next round FC Emmen, the number sixteen of the premier league, will also enter.

In the regular competition, VVV had still finished well behind Willem II. The club from Venlo ended the season in the Keuken Kampioen Divisie in seventh place, with ten points less than the number four from Tilburg.

Twice Hornkamp, twice Braken

The first half yielded four goals, equally divided between the two clubs. Willem II started well and took the lead in the thirteenth minute. VVV defender Robin Lathouwers lost the ball, Lucas Woudenberg crossed and reached Jizz Hornkamp, who controlled with his chest and scored from close range.

Hornkamp, who until this match had found the net nine times, made another one more than twenty minutes later. This time it was the hit on a pass from Elton Kabangu, Willem II’s club top scorer with twelve goals.

Willem II striker Hornkamp celebrates after making it 2-0

Although Willem II created hardly any other chances, the Tilburgers clearly had the better of the game. That changed shortly before halftime, when the home team suddenly fought their way back into the match.

Through captain Sven Braken, who will swap VVV this summer for KMSK Deinze at the second level in Belgium, the score was levelled again. His first goal was the result of an effort by teammate Nick Venema, who hit the ball against Braken and as a result saw it disappear into the goal.

In injury time, Braken exploited a penalty awarded to VVV after hands by Willem II captain Pol Llonch.

More damage for Willem II

VVV, relegated from the premier league in 2021, then pressed on. After more than an hour, the Limburgers took the lead. Braken broke through on the left side and enabled Venema, who was more alert than his immediate opponents, to score.

After that turnaround, VVV had several good opportunities to run further away. Venema was dangerous with a shot from distance and a header from close range, but no more goals were scored. Neither did Willem II, which had one more big chance through Hornkamp.

Kayleigh Williams