An early hangover with Vastelaovend for Fortuna

18 February 2023
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2023 RKC Fortuna Dogan Seuntjens

What should have been a festive start to Vastelaovend, ended in a frustrating evening. Fortuna lost 3-1 on a visit to RKC Waalwijk.

Burak Yilmaz put the Sittard formation ahead, but in the final quarter,the home club -with former Fortuna player Mats Seuntjens as the star- finally took control of the game.

Fortuna started the game without Ivo Pinto and George Cox, both unavailable due to injury. As against FC Emmen, their places were taken by Dogan Erdogan and Remy Vita. Head coach Julio Velázques had given Deroy Duarte a starting spot for the first time in several weeks, the midfielder replacing Arianit Ferati.

In the first half, chances were scarce on both sides, Michiel Kramer was dangerous twice for the home club. Fortuna also had two chances, but Burak and Kristijan Bistrovic both attempts were too high. On the stroke of half-time the first really big opportunity in the match, Ilias Bel Hassani took a hard shot from close range. Fortuna goalkeeper Ivor Pandur was well positioned and parried the effort with his fists.

Four minutes after halftime, Fortuna took the lead. Burak freed himself from his direct opponent and took a hard shot from about 18 meters. The ball disappeared into the bottom right corner: 0-1. This was already the ninth goal of the season for the Fortuna captain and his second field goal. A few minutes later, Velázquez received two yellow cards from referee Bas Nijhuis for badmouthing the referee, and the head coach was forced to watch the game from the stands.

After more than an hour of play, Duarte went close to scoring his second goal, but his shot was skilfully parried by RKC goalkeeper Etienne Vaessen. After 76 minutes RKC equalized, Michiel Kramer worked a cross from substitute Florian Jozefzoon behind goalkeeper Pandur: 1-1. The goal led to commotion; some eight seconds before the goal, goalkeeper Vaessen appeared to commit a foul on Bistrovic. Referee Nijhuis refused to blow the whistle, nor was he corrected by VAR.

A few minutes later a rash action by Vaessen again led to the necessary discussions, the goalkeeper torpedoed Inigo Córdoba on the back line. 'No penalty' was Nijhuis' verdict, again VAR did not feel it necessary to intervene. In the ensuing counterattack, the home club scored its second goal. A hard shot by Seuntjens was stopped by Pandur, but the rebound was a prey for RKC's Julen Lobete: 2-1.

The match upside down. In the last minute of official playing time, RKC scored their third goal of the evening. Jozefzoon worked the ball into the goal from close range: 3-1. Fortuna Sittard was left empty-handed and bitter about the unnecessary loss.

Line-up: Pandur, Dogan, Guth, Siovas (79’ Radic), Vita, Bistrivoic. Özyakup, Duarte (88’ Buitink), Córdoba (88’ Gladon), Burak, Umaro (79’ Noslin)