Eredivisie dream Almere City alive and kicking after thriller against FC Eindhoven

Eredivisie dream Almere City alive and kicking after thriller against FC Eindhoven

NOS Football

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    Anthony Limbombe’s 2-1 (second from right) leads to an explosion of joy
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    Rajiv van la Parra is feted after the 3-1

Almere City is through to the semifinals of the playoffs for promotion to the premier league after a 3-1 home victory over FC Eindhoven after extension. Four days ago Almere had lost 1-0 in Eindhoven. Only in injury time Almere prevented elimination on Friday night.

Almere City will play in the next round against the winner of the duel between Willem II and VVV-Venlo. The first game ended in 3-2 for VVV, tomorrow at 16:30 is the return.

MVV and NAC Breda will also play the return tomorrow (8:00 p.m.), in that game it is 1-0 for NAC. The winner will take on premier league side FC Emmen in the next round. Almere City coach Alex Pastoor says he has no preference for either team. “We have shown that we can compete with anyone,” he said.

Second goalkeeper Borgmans continues to stand in the way

At FC Eindhoven, second goalkeeper and hero of last week Jort Borgmans started again. He filled in for the injured first goalkeeper Nigel Bertrams in the first match and saved the Eindhoven players with a couple of excellent saves. In Almere, the 20-year-old Borgmans was back in the starting lineup because Bertrams is out of action in the playoffs after jaw surgery.

There Borgmans was once again a stand in the way for Almere. First he was sharp on a shot by Spaniard Pascu, later on a free kick by Jorrit Smeets, where he parried the ball beautifully to the corner. Eindhoven showed very little before halftime, except for a weak effort from Canadian striker Charles-Andreas Brym.

In the second half, coach Alex Pastoor’s Almere had to come out to overcome the deficit from the first game, but struggled to express the superiority in chances.

Jort Borgmans was a long time stand in the way for Almere City

The 1-0, ten minutes before time, came out of the blue. Ilias Alhaft reached the back line, crossed the ball and via Almer striker Jeredy Hilterman and a defender the ball went into the goal via the hapless Borgmans.

Less than a minute later, the Brabanders were awarded a penalty kick after a handball by Smeets in his own penalty area. Eindhoven captain Mawouna Amevor coolly shot the ball in the 84th minute: 1-1. Almere then had to hunt for a goal to avoid elimination.

Limbombe forces extension

Hilterman was close in the rebound after a mistake by goalkeeper Borgmans on a shot by Alhaft, but the ball went wide. The same Alhaft laid on for a free kick in the 90th minute, but Borgmans again got in the way. Eindhoven seemed certain of the next round, until Antony Limbombe made the Yanmar Stadion in Almere explode.

He came in in the 94th minute, played out two men and shot the ball into the far corner: 2-1. Hilterman could have even headed in the 3-1 in the last second from close range, but the ball went over.

Anthony Limbombe

In the extension, Almere was the stronger, and in the 109th minute that was reflected in the score. Rajiv van la Parra headed the ball in through the underside of the crossbar after a point-blank cross from Alhaft: 3-1.

Defender Amevor immediately went forward as a battering ram, but no more chances were created by the Eindhoven side.

Pastoor called the victory “more than deserved.” He came up with a nice tile saying after the match. “Starting well is important, but finishing well is even more important.”

Kayleigh Williams