Fortuna takes big step with win over Groningen
Fortuna has done good business in the fight for survival. Thanks to a 3-1 victory against FC Groningen, head coach Julio Velazquez's team climbed to 11th place in the league table.
The importance of the match was obvious beforehand. Groningen, penultimate in the rankings, saw the competition at the bottom taking points this weekend. The team of head coach Dennis van der Ree was only interested in a win. Fortuna also wanted the three points, to definitely play in the middle of the table and distance themselves from the relegation zone.
Fortuna had a lightning start. Already after three minutes the lead was a fact for the home team. After the guests lost the ball, Fortuna made a quick switch and through the strong play of Dogan Erdogan the ball went to Burak Yilmaz. The attacking leader played Tijjani Noslin on the right, who produced a hard and tight cross to Iñigo Córdoba. With a subtle foot movement, he left Groningen goalkeeper Michael Verrips without a chance: 1-0.
Groningen had a lot of ball possession in the remainder of the first half, former Feyenoord player Elvis Manu was dangerous on several occasions for the guests. However, he found Fortuna goalie Ivor Pandur in his way. Four minutes before halftime Manu scored, but his goal was disallowed due to offside. Almost on the counter attack Fortuna doubled their lead. A shot by Noslin was parried by Verrips, but in the rebound Cordoba again showed himself attentive. He shot hard and high: 2-0.
After the break the first chance was for Fortuna. Burak played Cordoba over in a promising position. The guests did not want to give up and made the Fortuna defense very difficult on several occasions. Substitute Florian Krüger headed straight into Pandur's hands, completely free. A few minutes later another chance for Groningen, again Pandur made a fine save, this time on a header by Liam van Gelderen. A header by Ricardo Pepi was tapped out from under Pandur.
Fifteen minutes before time, substitute Isak Määttä hit the post out of Pandur's reach. Moments later the guests scored the tying goal, with Pepi taking a fine shot from the edge of the penalty area: 2-1. The tension was back, Fortuna did not get into trouble in the remaining part of the match. Two substitutes on the Fortuna side even ensured a third goal for the home club. A free kick by Úmaro Embaló was extended by Paul Gladon with his head: 3-1.
Line-up: Pandur, Pinto, Guth, Siovas, Vita, Erdogan (84’ Ferati), Özyakup (78’ Duarte), Bistrovic (89’ Gladon), Noslin (78’ Embaló), Burak, Córdoba.