KENYA BROWN - Monday, May 21, 2018
A goal from Matt Miazga helped Vitesse book their place in next season's Europa League as they went on to beat FC Utrecht in the two-leg playoff final.
Vitesse vs. FC Utrecht (Vitesse wins 5-3 on aggregate)
Vitesse will be playing in the Europa League next season as they booked their place after winning the two-leg playoff final against FC Utrecht.
After a strong start to the Eredivisie season, Vitesse would eventually slip down the standings and their head coach, Henk Fraser, got the axe later. However, the team did play well towards the end to stay in the hunt for a European spot.
After overcoming ADO Den Haag in the semi-finals, Vitas would continue their march for Europe's second tournament with a 3-2 first leg win over Utrech at the GelreDome.
Vitesse took the lead in the 42nd minute as Mason Mount headed in a cross from Roy Beerens.
Ramon Leeuwin leveled the score in the 62nd minute when he headed the ball in from a Zakaria Labyad corner kick.
However, the host retook the lead in the 78th minute when Bryan Linssen scored from a very tight angle. Some may have questioned whether his effort was a shot or a cross, but it did not matter after it went into the goal.
Labyad found the equalizer for Utrecht four minutes later as his shot got past goalkeeper Jeroen Houwen.
Just when it looked like the first leg would end in a tie, Guram Kashia would head in an Alexander Buttner free-kick in stoppage time to give Vitesse the advantage.
With a single goal advantage entering the second leg, Vitesse needed a positive result heading into Stadion Galgenwaard. And they got it as Miazga would score the necessary goal to see them come away with a 2-1 win over Utrecht.
Utrecht helped the visitors along the way as Ramon Leeuwin scored the opener in the 18th minute, but in the wrong goal, leaving his team in a hole.
The Miazga put the nail in the coffin in the 38th minute as he rose up to put away a thumping header from an Alexander Buttner corner kick.
Mark van der Maarel pulled one back for Utrecht at the start of the second half, but it was too late as Vitesse will head into the Europa League qualifying rounds this summer.
Miazga ends another successful season in the Netherlands will now await the assessment from Chelsea once they have resolved their coaching issues.