VVSB’s Dutch Cup fairy tale ends at Utrecht

Utrecht (Netherlands), March 3 (IANS) The unique Dutch Cup adventure of amateur football club VVSB came to an end with a 0-3 defeat at FC Utrecht in the semifinal.

VVSB from Noordwijkerhout, which plays at the highest amateur level — the third level in the Netherlands, had caused a shock in the quarterfinals at first division side FC Den Bosch by coming back from 0-2 down to win 3-2 in the final minutes, reports Xinhua.

For the first time since 1975, when IJsselmeervogels from Spakenburg reached the last four, an amateur side reached the semis of Dutch Cup. The VVSB players, who all have regular jobs, became instant heroes.

For once they were the centre of attention in Dutch sports media. Around 2,100 VVSB fans from Noordwijkerhout, a town of 16,000 inhabitants in the province of South Holland, came here in 35 buses to support their heroes.

The VVSB squad prepared for the semis like they were the Dutch national team. They were offered a stay for one night in a fancy hotel in Noordwijk at the coast, the day before the match.

Against FC Utrecht, currently No.5 in Eredivisie, VVSB managed to continue the fairy tale for a while and keep a cleansheet for a surprisingly long time. Although the home team had most possession and most chances, VVSB defended well and the half-time score was 0-0.

In the 73rd minute, FC Utrecht finally found the net and broke the VVSB wall. A shot by Mark van der Maarel was deflected by Peet van der Slot and went behind VVSB goalkeeper Ruben Valk. Two minutes later Sebastien Haller secured the home victory and Patrick Joosten made it 3-0 in injury time.

FC Utrecht reached the Dutch Cup final for the sixth time in history. In 1982 and 2002, Utrecht lost the final and in 1985, 2003 and 2004 they captured the Cup. Feyenoord and AZ will battle for the other place in the final on Thursday in Rotterdam.

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