EREDIVISIE: PEC Zwolle 2-1 Vitesse





PEC Zwolle came back from a goal behind to defeat Vitesse Arnhem 2-1 in Sunday’s first game in an exciting but heated encounter reports Will Burns.

Goalscorer from two weeks ago Soufain Moro, a summer free transfer from FC Utrecht, began the game on the left wing in place of Ryan Thomas, who may have been struggling with fitness after midweek exploits in the Europa League. While Peter Bosz made a change in the Vitesse goal as Eloy Room started in place of the injured Piet Velthuizen and 17-year-old left-back Kevin Diks introduced for his debut for the club.

After a good half-an-hour pre-game of lashing down rain, both sides decided to exchange long range shots early on but no decent efforts to trouble either keeper. After the opening ten minutes, the visitors experienced a decent spell and they should have taken the lead when Kelvin Leerdam forced a good save out of Diederik Boer from a corner on 20 minutes.

The good spell paid off when Davy Pröpper opened the scoring on 23 minutes despite the great efforts from Boer to stop the shot. The midfielder found space on the edge of the area and the shot deflected off Joost Broerse, and although Boer got a hand to the ball, the shot skimmed off the wet ground and into the corner of the goal.

Leerdam should have made it after Valeri Kazaishvili put him through on goal, but when Boer close the midfielder down he fluffed his lines and scuffed his shot wide. Vitesse’s new Ukrainian signing Denys Olinyk found more time as a substitute after Chelsea loanee Bertrand Traoré pulled up with an injury on 28 minutes.

On 35 minutes, Zwolle could have been levelled after Arnold Kruiswijk fouled Jody Lukoki and a referee Dennis Higler awarded a free-kick. Lukoki floated the ball in and Vitesse failed to clear when Broerse arrived at the back post to smash a shot that was well saved by Room. After some tempers had flared when Maikel van der Werff and Olinyk clashed, the crowd became louder and at the other end, Boer was tested by Kazaishvili’s effort from outside the area that the goalkeeper parried away.

As the sun shone for the second half, the home side seemed more composed, however they only really bothered Room early on with long range efforts from Broerse and Ben Rienstra. After an hour, Ron Jans decide to mix up his attacking options with Ryan Thomas and Stef Nijland joining the fray replacing Moro and Necid.

Seconds later, Zwolle were level when Van der Werff’s free-kick deflected in off Guram Kashia to make it 1-1. The defender who missed a spot-kick midweek against Sparta Prague made amends with the goal.

Zwolle’s tails were up and Jesper Drost nearly made it 2-1 minutes later with a great header from Lukoki right-wing cross that flashed across Room’s goal. Vitesse had their chances too with Zakaria Labyad and Olinyk proving to be constant headaches with the former forcing an easy save out of Boer with a header on 75 minutes.

The hosts finished the game the better and fitter side, not showing any European hangover as Bosz, visibly aware of this, replaced the active Labyad for former Zwolle defender Ronald Achenteh to try and seal a point, however this move did not help his side.

Substitute Stefan Nijland took advantage of some poor defending from Vitesse with just two minutes remaining. Jan Arie van der Heijden was disposed by Lukoki and Nijland was on hand to finish to send the IJsseldelta into raptures. The former Ajax winger Lukoki could have added a third in stoppage time forcing a stop from Room.

Zwolle’s great run continues and the way they fought back in the second half will deter any doubters in thinking this cannot be a successful season and they will head to the Czech Republic this Thursday full of confidence knowing that only a win will do against Sparta Prague. Vitesse on the other hand lack a lot up front and recruiting a striker is must this week before the transfer window slams shut.


PEC ZWOLLE: Boer, Lam, Van der Werff, Broerse (Sainsbury 80), Van Polen, Rienstra, Saymak, Lukoki, Drost, Moro (Thomas 64), Necid (Nijland 64).

SUBS NOT USED: De Jong, Dekker, Pereira, Ioannidis.

GOALS: Van der Werff 64, Nijland 88.

BOOKINGS: Van Polen 41, Rienstra 58.

VITESSE: Room, Diks, Kashia, Van der Heijden, Kruiswijk, Vejinovic (McEachran 74), Leerdam, Pröpper, Labyad (Achenteh 84), Kazaishvili, Traoré (Olinyk 28).

SUBS NOT USED: Houwen, Mori, Djurdjevic, Bosz.

GOALS: Pröpper 23.

BOOKINGS: Kashia 40, Pröpper 41.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Maikel van der Werff (PEC Zwolle)


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