FC Twente can beat Heerenveen in playoffs and smells finals
Watch the summary of sc Heerenveen – FC Twente
The battle between FC Twente and sc Heerenveen for a final spot in the playoffs is still open, although number five Twente has the advantage after Thursday night. In Friesland, the match with the number eight in the premier league ended 1-2 through a goal by Manfred Ugalde in injury time. Sunday is the return game in Enschede.
After last Sunday’s 3-1 win over Ajax, Twente went into the playoffs for a place in the third preliminary round of the Conference League with a lot of self-confidence.
Cerny on a roll
In doing so, it had an asset in the person of Vaclav Cerny. The right winger has been the man in form since March, stringing together goals and assists.
Also in Heerenveen, the Czech showed his class by finishing after almost twenty minutes, after successful combinations with Michel Vlap and Manfred Ugalde.
Cerny’s goal seemed the harbinger of an easy evening for Twente, but nothing could be further from the truth, although the guests failed to distance themselves further after the 0-1.
Thom Haye’s equalizer, on the stroke of half-time, came at a psychologically good time for Heerenveen, which took four points against Twente in the regular league.
Haye tried it from distance and saw that the normally reliable Twente goalkeeper Lars Unnerstall completely misjudged the shot.
What followed was an engaging second half, with two teams looking for the decision.
After a rock-hard foul by Syb van Ottele on Ramiz Zerrouki – penalized with yellow – Twente striker Ugalde had the first chance. The Costa Rican’s effort was cleared off the line by Pawel Bochniewicz.
On the other side, Unnerstall parried a blast from the industrious Osame Sahraoui in the short corner. Heerenveen’s best moment after halftime.
Twente then found themselves in a strong phase for a while, with captain Robin Pröpper putting the tall Andries Noppert to work with a header. In the end, the flag went up for offside.
Twente coach Ron Jans, with a past in Heerenveen, used up all his substitutions and also brought the invisible Cerny to the side in the second half. The substitute Ricky van Wolfswinkel briefly tested Noppert.
In the closing minutes nothing more seemed to change the score, although Twente left-back Gijs Smal almost scored an own goal by hitting the post.
Deep into injury time, Ugalde still made it 1-2 by shooting the ball through the legs of Noppert, who had been selected for the Dutch national team. It was a great relief for Twente and the fans who traveled with them.