Almere City strikes first blow in battle for premier league ticket with FC Emmen

Almere City strikes first blow in battle for premier league ticket with FC Emmen
Lance Duijvestijn

NOS Football

Almere City has won the first match in the final of the playoffs for promotion/degradation against FC Emmen. In Almere on Tuesday night, the number three of the Keuken Kampioen Divisie won 2-0 from the number sixteen of the premier league.

Lance Duijvestijn scored both of Almere City’s goals in the second half. The return in Emmen is scheduled for Sunday at 6 p.m.

Almere City, which had beaten FC Eindhoven in the first round of the playoffs after extension and had beaten VVV-Venlo in the semifinals after penalty kicks, started the game brightly.

It immediately produced a life-threatening chance in the second minute. Théo Barbet headed hard towards goal from a corner, but the French defender saw his effort turned away just before the line. Lorenzo Burnet threw himself in front of the shot and headed the ball out of the goal.

Dick Lukkien (FC Emmen) on the bench in Almere

It turned out to be the only major chance Almere got in the early stages, despite a considerable field advantage. Only in the eighteenth minute, when Emmen was able to get off their own half for the first time for a few minutes, came the first Drenthe chance.

After a quick combination with striker Richairo Zivkovic, Achmed El Messaoudi came through on the right side. However, his shot from close range was turned away by Almere goalkeeper Nordin Bakker.

Error Zivkovic

As the first half progressed, the game became more balanced and not much happened in the first hour. Until the 63rd minute. Emmen striker Zivkovic handled the ball carelessly in his own defense after which Rajiv van La Parra ran with it.

Zivkovic then pulled the striker down on the edge of the penalty area after which referee Danny Makkelie could do nothing but point to the spot. Lance Duijvestijn, who was also successful in the penalty shootout against VVV-Venlo a few days earlier, hit the spot impeccably.

Lance Duijvestein shouts it out

Emmen then immediately made their presence felt, being dangerous within a minute through shots by Ole Romeny and El Messaoudi, but both times Bakker was well in the way.

Second Duijvestein

Almere City weathered the storm and even took a 2-0 lead ten minutes later. After a quick attack a sharp cross ended up in front of the Emmen goal after which Miguel Araujo unknowingly worked the ball towards his own goal. Duijvestijn was quick to tap in his second of the match.

Sunday FC Emmen gets one last chance to secure survival and give coach Dick Lukkien, who is leaving for FC Groningen, a dignified farewell. The team of coach Alex Pastoor can write soccer history, because the club never played in the premier league before.

Pastoor doesn’t want to get too much ahead of himself just yet. “It’s a duel, so that means it’s ‘rest’ now. And a premier league team that gets beat 2-0 is going to sharpen its knives. So we can prepare for that. But those knives are going to be sharpened here, too.”

Lukkien thought Almere City was the deserved winner. “I saw an unrecognizable Emmen tonight. Almere put in more energy than us and that can’t be justified. But this match is not yet played. On Sunday we will clap full on.”

Kayleigh Williams