KNVB BEKER REPORT: Quarter-FInals

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The quarter final stage of the 2016/17 edition of the KNVB Beker got underway on Tuesday evening at the Kras Stadion where it took a nail-biting penalty shootout for Sparta Rotterdam to squeeze past second tier, Volendam and into the final four of the competition.

After a goalless 90 minutes had elapsed, both sides found the back of the net in the second period of extra time. Thomas Verhaar thought he had secured a semi-final berth for Alex Pastoor’s men three minutes into the second half of extra time only to see Bert Steltenpool level for Robert Molenaar’s promotion chasers two minutes later and, with both sides unable to break the deadlock, the tie was eventually decided from the spot – 18-year-old, Sherel Floranus keeping alive Sparta’s hopes of a first cup triumph since 1966 by tucking home the 16th and ultimately decisive kick of a nervy shootout.

A penalty shootout was also required to decide another tie that pitted first against second tier opposition on Wednesday evening and produced the upset of the round as Cambuur – who sensationally sent Ajax tumbling out of the competition last time out, this time accounted for last season’s beaten cup finalists, FC Utrecht in front of their own fans at the Stadion Galgenwaard.

Things appeared to be going to plan for Erik ten Hag’s men after Ramon Leeuwin gave the hosts the lead just before the half hour mark.

However, the Eredivisie outfit had to rely on an 89th minute equaliser from 18-year-old, Giovanni Troupee to send the tie into extra time after goals from Erik Bakker – two minutes after the restart, and then Martijn Barto in the 67th minute seemed to have booked the Eerste Divisie outfit a place in the final four.

The equaliser was nothing more than the hosts deserved after the home crowd had been left fuming when, having been awarded a penalty with a quarter of an hour remaining after Pol van Boekel pointed to the spot following what the official initially perceived to be a handball, van Boekel then changed his mind following a consultation with the video referee.

Following a goalless extra half an hour, the tie would be decided from the spot – Jamiro burying the 18th and ultimately decisive penalty kick of a nail-biting shootout to secure an unlikely semi-final berth for the second tier outfit whose coaching duo – Sipke Hulshoff and Arne Slot, continue to mastermind what has become a fairy tale cup run for the Leeuwarden-based outfit who reached the semi-finals of the competition for the first time in their history in the most improbable of circumstances after having parted company with previous coach, Rob Maas prior to seeing off TEC earlier in the competition following a poor start to the campaign.

Elsewhere on Wednesday evening, AZ Alkmaar – who last tasted cup success in 2013, booked their own place in the final four of the competition – a back post header by centre half, Derrick Luckassen following a corner by Dabney Dos Santos nineteen minutes from time seeing John van den Brom’s men past high-flying, Heerenveen at the AFAS Stadion.

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The quarter final stage of the 2016/17 edition of the KNVB Beker was concluded in remarkable fashion on Thursday evening at the GelreDome where hosts, Vitesse Arnhem ensured that there would be no repeat of last year’s cup triumph for holders, Feyenoord.

Two quick-fire strikes in the space of six minutes either side of the hour mark effectively derailed Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s league leaders who saw Guram Kashia head Henk Fraser’s side into the lead ten minutes after the resumption before Adnane Tighadouini doubled the home side’s advantage on 61 minutes after Ricky van Wolfswinkel had initially been denied by the reflexes of Feyenoord’s Aussie ‘keeper, Brad Jones to ultimately seal Vitesse’s place in the final four of the competition for the first time since 2001.

Feyenoord, with Karim El Ahmadi away on African Cup of Nations duty, Tonny Vilhena suspended and skipper, Dirk Kuyt given a rest amongst the substitutes, had begun the tie without any of their first choice midfield trio and saw any hope of securing a first league and cup double since the 1983/84 season gradually fade – being fortunate not to concede a third later in the half when Chelsea loanee, Lewis Baker saw his free kick cannon back off the post.

Results: Quarter Finals

Volendam 1-1 Sparta Rotterdam

(Sparta won 6-5 on penalties)

FC Utrecht 2-2 SC Cambuur

(SC Cambuur won 7-6 on penalties)

AZ Alkmaar 1-0 SC Heerenveen

Vitesse Arnhem 2-0 Feyenoord

Semi Final Draw

AZ Alkmaar vs SC Cambuur

Sparta Rotterdam vs Vitesse Arnhem

 

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