Vitesse has turned the ideal dress rehearsal for the semi-final in the KNVB Cup into a win. The competition match against VVV-Venlo, next Tuesday the opponent in the semi-final of the KNVB Cup, ended in a 4-1 win. With this, Vitesse has put an end to a bad series of five duels without victory in the Eredivisie.
For a moment it seemed that the brand new turf in the Gelredome Vitesse had given wings. The home team came out convincingly and after two minutes there was 1-0 on the scoreboard. After good preparatory work by Armando Broja, Loïs Openda shot the ball high in the goal.
On the side, trainer Thomas Letsch must have thought the leak was upstairs on his crew. Vitesse picked up only one meagre dot from the last five games. That bad series started with a 4-1 defeat at VVV-Venlo, when top scorer Giorgos Giakoumakis got it on his hips and hit four times goal.
Vitesse had paid a lot of attention to the way Giakoumakis had to be put on the band this time. This helped to the extent that this time the Greek Eredivision scorer was almost not put in place, but still the phenomenon of Crete needed only nineteen minutes to score.
After Torino Hunte was placed in the penalty area by Riechedly Bazoer, the ball hit the dot. A job Giakoumakis was doing cool. Again the 23ecompetition reffer of the Greek, who also made three in the KNVB cup. In 25 competitions for VVV-Venlo, Giakoumakis has matched his entire production in his eight previous years as a pro at Platanias, Episkopi, AEK Athens, OFI Crete and Gornik Zabrze.
How fragile the self-confidence at Vitesse is after the recent bad series turned out after the equalization. The game level of the home team plummeted like a brick and it became a parallel battle, with VVV with powerful players such as Zinedine Machach and Meritan Shabani becoming threatening on the counter.
Only after rest Vitesse got a real grip on the opponent again. VVV was locked on its own half and it was finally Bazoer, who as a free defender with a solo through the enemy defense and a hard bang brought the home team back to the head start. VVV was no longer able to escape from the pressure of Vitesse and Sondre Tronstad finally decided the match with a distance shot (3-1). It was the first goal ever for Vitesse from the Norwegian midfielder. Armando Broja provided the final chord with the 4-1, exactly the mirror image of the results earlier this season in Venlo. The Englishman with Albanian roots now has nine goals in the Eredivisie behind his name and is club top scorer for Vitesse.
Because of the first competition win since the home victory of FC Groningen on 23 January, Vitesse jumped to fourth place in the ranking of the Eredivisie over Feyenoord. The Rotterdammers can turn the roles again on Sunday by a victory at AZ. VVV-Venlo stays in the safe fifteenth place, but has a bad weekend, because the Limburgers remain at the bottom empty-handed as one of the few teams. FC Emmen and PEC Zwolle (both three points) and RKC Waalwijk and ADO Den Haag (both one point) gained much needed points.
Click here to view the results, stand and programme in the Eredivisie