Goals by Kevin Conboy and Mark van der Maarel not enough for Utrecht (3-2).
FC Utrecht lost today from Ajax with the smallest difference possible. In the Amsterdam ArenA the first and last goal were from FC Utrecht, but in between Ajax showed enough strength to decide the game in their favour.
A meagre cheer was heard from the away booth in the ninetieth minute of Ajax – FC Utrecht. Mark van der Maarel, only twenty seconds on the pitch as substitute for Naver Barazite, worked the ball into the goal from up close. Sometimes a Utrecht goal in the Amsterdam ArenA is followed by an explosion of joy from the away booth, but not today. The goal was the 3-2, the tying goal.
That goal made that FC Utrecht could rattle at the Amsterdam gate for the last four minutes of the game. That the team could give it their last effort to try and beat goalkeeper Andre Onana for the third time. The power effort was there, but it did not lead to the much desired equaliser anymore. It remained 3-2 in the capital.
Two goals: sometimes that was enough for a good result in the Amsterdam Arena, but not today. FC Utrecht led for twenty minutes, 58 minutes the score was even and Ajax led 12 minutes. Trainer Peter Bosz’s team started the final sprint right on time.
After almost thirty minutes Kevin Conboy opened the score. The left back headed in the ball after an assist by Yassin Ayound: 0-1. It was an understandable lead. Ajax had at that moment a little more possession and put pressure on FC Utrecht in the first fifteen minutes of the game, but after that FC Utrecht took over the initiative. The 0-1 was a direct result of that.
Very soon after the goal by the Danish left back, one striker, Sébastien Haller, put the other striker free for the goal. Richairo Zivkovic however did not beat his former teammate Onana and thus did not manage to double the lead. A little later, from a more difficult angle, he failed again.
Equaliser after half time
Those might have been the moments when the game shifted. FC Utrecht failed to expand their lead and also helped Ajax back in the game with an own goal right after half time. In an attempt to clear a cross from Amin Younes, defender Ramon Leeuwin passed his own goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter (1-1).
After the goal Ajax took over the initiative and Bosz team came better into the game, even though they needed a penalty to take the lead. That happened ten minutes before the end of the game after a handball by Rico Strieder after Hakim Ziyech shot the ball. Veteran Lasse Schöne scored from the penalty spot: 2-1.
Ziyech 3-1, last goal for FC Utrecht
After a good pass from Nick Viergever, Ziyech, with a little luck, scored the 3-1. That seemed to be the decision of the game, but FC Utrecht gained hope with the tying goal from Van der Maarel. Unfortunately for FC Utrecht, that was the last goal of the game and it remained 3-2.
Thursday friendly game
Because of the (youth)international games, there will be no Eredivisie game next week. FC Utrecht does play a friendly game against De Graafschap. The game will be played Thursday at Sportcomplex Zoudenbach and starts at 14.00. Entrance is free.
Ajax - FC Utrecht 3-2 (0-1)
27. Kevin Conboy 0-1
47. Ramon Leeuwin (own goal) 1-1
79. Lasse Schöne (penalty) 2-1
87. Hakim Ziyech 3-1
90. Mark van der Maarel 3-2
Yellow cards: Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Willem Janssen, Kevin Conboy, Yassin Ayoub, Sofyan Amrabat, Nacer Barazite, Sébastien Haller, Rico Strieder (all FC Utrecht).
Referee: Bas Nijhuis.
Andre Onana; Joël Veltman, Davinson Sanchez, Nick Viergever, Daley Sinkgraven (74. Riechedly Bazoer, 86. Jairo Riedewald); Lasse Schöne, Hakim Ziyech, Davy Klaassen; Bertrand Traoré, Kasper Dolberg (80. Mateo Casierra), Amin Younes.
Line-up FC Utrecht:
Robbin Ruiter; Giovanni Troupée, Ramon Leeuwin, Willem Janssen, Kevin Conboy; Rico Strieder (86. Andreas Ludwig), Sofyan Amrabat, Yassin Ayoub, Nacer Barazite (90. Mark van der Maarel); Sébastien Haller, Richairo Zivkovic (57. Patrick Joosten).