KENYA BROWN - Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Desevio Payne and Groningen had to hold for a point against Sparta Rotterdam in the Netherlands while the Danish Superliga returned to action after the winter break.
The Green Army fought back from two goals down and had to play the rest of the game with 10-men to hold on for a 2-2 tie with Sparta Rotterdam at Sparta-Stadion Het Kasteel.
Sparta jumped out to a 2-0 lead within 20 minutes of the start of the game. Paco van Moorsel scored from a close-range effort in the eighth minute and Ivan Calero added the second nine minutes later as he slid in to redirect the ball towards the goal after a pass from teammate Martin Pusic.
However, Groningen would claw their way back into the contest by scoring two of their own before the halftime whistle.
Ruben Jensen scored the first in the 21st minute of play while Mimoun Mahi nailed the equalizer in the 44th minute from just outside the box.
It appeared Groningen had the momentum entering the second half based off those two goals, but tragedy would strike in the 52nd minute when Juninho Bacuna was shown a red card.
The visitors were fortunate to hold on to the tie as Sparta failed to score on chances they had at goal. Matthias Pogba and van Moorsel were both guilty of missing excellent opportunities.
The tie leaves Groningen sitting in 10th place in the standings with 27 points.
Elsewhere in the Eredivisie, Matt Miazga started for Vitesse in their 1-0 loss to Ajax.
In the Eerste Divisie, Gedion Zelalem watched from the bench as leaders VVV Venlo bagged a 1-0 win over Volendam.
Shane O'Neill started and played 62 minutes in NAC Breda's 2-0 loss to PSV II.
Steve Clark started in goal and Conor O'Brien came off the bench for Horsens in their 1-0 loss to Silkeborg. Rubio Rubin was not on the bench for Silkeborg.
Perry Kitchen assisted on the goal that saw Hearts earn a 1-1 tie with Inverness CT at the Tynecastle Stadium. Bjorn Johnsen also started, playing 50 minutes for the Jambos.
Meanwhile, the stuggles continue for Emerson Hyndman and Rangers after the resignation of former head coach Mark Warburton as the Light Blues fell 2-1 to Dundee.