Fortuna and Utrecht fail to score
Fortuna gained one point from Saturday night's encounter with FC Utrecht. Neither team scored: 0-0.
On the Sittard side, Iman Griffith started in the starting lineup for the first time this season, taking the place of the injured Tijjani Noslin. Mitchel Dijks was not fully recovered from his injury, he started on the bench. Arianit Ferati and Oguzhan Özyakup had to miss the match.
The opening phase was for the home club, with a huge chance to open the scoring after only two minutes. Alen Halilovic sent Remy Vita away on the left flank, who sent a tailored cross towards Kaj Sierhuis. However, the striker headed just past the wrong side of the post. Ten minutes later, a cross from captain Ivo Pinto caused the necessary commotion in the guests' penalty area. Fiercely pursued by Iñigo Córdoba, Utrecht player Hugo Nova almost surprised his own goalkeeper. With an extreme effort, Vasilios Barkas prevented a counter goal for his team.
A shot by Halilovic was also tapped out of the bottom corner by Barkas. After half an hour of play, Cordoba was sidelined with an injury and his place was taken by Mouhamed Belkheir. Just before halftime the first real danger from the guests. Zakaria Labyad headed in from close range, but goalkeeper Ivor Pandur was already beaten. Rodrigo Guth prevented Fortuna from going behind with a fine defensive move.
Even after halftime, Fortuna initially dominated. Strongly supported by the fanatical supporters in a rainy Sittard, Fortuna seemed to break open the score soon in the second half. Sierhuis missed another great chance, on a pass from Pinto. A few seconds later, referee Bas Nijhuis noted a hand play by Can Bozdogan. The awarded penalty kick was taken by Halilovic, Utrecht goalkeeper Barkas went to the right corner and whipped the ball out of the goal.
Gradually the initiative shifted to the guests. Taylor Booth shot wide from a good position and a shot from over 18 meters by Yannick Leliendal was turned into a corner by Pandur. Substitute Oscar Fraulo was dangerous from the corner, but his shot went inches wide. Substitute Jens Toornstra also went close on behalf of the guests, but his shot went just over.
The last word in this not high quality, but very exciting game, was for Fortuna. Substitute Marko Lazetic tested the qualities of Barkas with a shot into the short corner, but again the goalkeeper was alert. Both teams went to the dressing room with the feeling that they could have done more.
Line-up: Pandur, Pinto, Guth, Siovas, Vita (63’ Vita), Duarte, Rosier, Halilovic (86’ Lazetic), Griffith (86’ Robberechts), Sierhuis (63’ Oratmangoen), Córdoba (31’ Belkheir).