NIJMEGEN – NEC has escaped deep into injury time from a disgrace against last-placed Fortuna Sittard. The Nijmegen club failed in the final round and fell behind due to a beautiful goal. Substitute Pedro Marques eventually saved a point, 1-1.
On paper, NEC had the ideal opportunity against Fortuna Sittard to book another home win, something that did not succeed this season and only three times last season. The Limburgers lost the first five league matches for the first time in club history.
NEC could again have Oussama Tannane against Fortuna Sittard, who had recovered from minor complaints. The club had to do without the injured Joris Kramer, who was replaced in the center by Calvin Verdonk. Jordy Bruijn, who ended up on the bench, was also missing due to an injury.
NEC was much stronger than Fortuna Sittard and this time created many opportunities, but was much too nonchalant about them. It all started in the third minute when Duelund headed a free kick from Tannane right at goalkeeper Ivor Pandur and Landry Dimata messed up the rebound by failing to shoot.
Even after that, NEC remained very sloppy in the completion. Dimata also headed straight at Pandur from a free kick by Tannane, shots from Duelund and Bart van Rooij and Elayis Tavsan lingered far too long on the way to Pandur’s goal, allowing George Cox to intervene with a sliding.
Fortuna Sittard barely got over their own half, but was actually close to the lead after more than half an hour. Jasper Cillessen made a great save on a free kick by Burak Yilmaz and a few seconds later Paul Gladon shot the ball past. In the opening phase, Arianit Ferati could have scored, but he mishandled the ball in a detached position.
In the second half, NEC was not nearly as dominant as before halftime. The team became increasingly sloppy in possession and therefore had difficulty creating opportunities, although Fortuna Sittard was not very dangerous either. In an attempt to force something, NEC trainer Rogier Meijer brought Ibrahim Cissoko in front of Duelund after more than an hour.
Cissoko immediately created more threat on the NEC side and immediately had a good chance, but he headed over from a free kick by Tannane. Not much later, Cissoko Souffian brought El Karouani into position, but his shot was also blocked. From the ensuing corner, Pandur made a good save on a header by Ivan Márquez.
Where NEC couldn’t get the ball into the net, on the other hand Fortuna Sittard hit the mark. Oguzhan Ozyakup shot the ball into the top corner from about thirty yards.
In the final phase, frustrations took over at NEC. Meijer received a yellow card from referee Rob Dieperink for commenting on the arbitration and some of the NEC supporters decided to whistle Tavsan. NEC did not manage to squeeze out another final offensive for a long time and suffered a painful defeat as a result. After the red card (twice yellow) for Fortuna substitute Dogan Erdogan, NEC still got opportunities. In the fifth minute of stoppage time it was finally hit, when Marques scored.
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