Europa League play-offs: Boschker howler delights FC Utrecht
For Sander Boschker it was a night to forget but for FC Utrecht it was one to savour, as the FC Twente veteran made a crucial mistake as de Tukkers crashed to a 0-2 home defeat.
The previous game between the two was a clear victory for the visitors (2-4) and the game continued like the last encounter had ended; with an FC Utrecht goal. Cedric Van der Gun, who makes up for his lack of height with a great leap, got away from his marker Edson Braafheid to head in a corner taken by Australian winger Tommy Oar. Nine minutes gone, 0-1. A bad start and a sign of things to come for the Twentenaren, who looked uninspired. Their trials and tribulations were neatly encapsulated when Willem Janssen gave Twente striker Luc Castaignos the chance to equalise, but instead, Castaignos chose to lay the ball off to the invisible man. In the course of the first half, FC Twente only created a few half chances, with FC Utrecht disciplined at the back, looking to hit Twente on the counter and take advantage from dead ball situations.
The second half started with a minor set-back for the Domstedelingen. Jan Wuytens, who is likely to join AZ on a free transfer this summer, picked up a yellow card leaving him suspended for the return leg, which all of a sudden meant he was busy playing his last game for FC Utrecht. The minor set-back was soon followed by a major boost.
Oar cleared the ball upfield towards FC Twente goalkeeper Sander Boschker. Instead of dealing with it comfortably, the veteran 41-year-old miskicked the ball and French winger Edouard Duplan seized upon his mistake. 59 minutes played, 0-2 for FC Utrecht and everything was looking very comfortable for the club from the Domstad. FC Twente were in all kinds of trouble.
After the 0-2, FC Twente were desperate to get themselves back in the tie and finally created the pressure that Jens Toornstra was afraid of before the game. Nevertheless, Utrecht maintained the upper hand. A small glimmer of hope came when Asare made sure Wuytens wasn’t the only important FC Utrecht-player missing out on the return leg. An unnecessary foul on Chilean Felipe Gutierrez meant a red card (two yellows) for the former KV Mechelen man.
Belgian defender Jan Wuytens was pleased with his side’s performance. “We played with maturity, we were compact and we know we are very good on the counter. We have beaten FC Twente by exploiting their weaknesses and that was their vulnerability to the counter.”
Midfielder Leroy Fer of FC Twente was less happy and felt there was one clear thing that had cost them: “Individual errors. They were looking for us to make errors and FC Utrecht capitalised. The moments we made mistakes were the moments they were sharp. Our tempo was much too low. FC Utrecht were comfortable. It’s all or nothing for us now, we’re 2-0 down and need to put everything into it to try and make something of it.”
Even without Asare and Wuytens, Utrecht will feel confident for the return leg that they can secure Europa League football. FC Twente were beaten for the first time in 10 games and will have a very difficult task ahead of themselves this Sunday.
FC Utrecht will host FC Twente on Sunday the 26th of May, 1230 CET for the return leg.