In Venlo, everything had been done to support the team. A large group of supporters awaited the players before the game with fireworks and singing and motivational speeches from all kinds of club people were fired at the players during the warm-up during the warm-up.
All statements of support seemed to achieve the desired effect, because VVV got off to a great start in De Koel. After three minutes it was 1-0. The pass was from Vito van Crooij and the completion of who else but top scorer Giorgos Giakoumakis.
25th season goal Giakoumakis
It was the 25th season goal of the Eredivisie top scorer, which thus shot the club record of Hans Sleven from 1958/1959 off the books. The Greek goalkeeper has had a lesser period and had not scored five duels. In that series he missed one game due to a suspension and he also faced physical problems. How crucial the contribution of Giakoumakis is for VVV is evident from the fact that the Limburgers could not have found the goal in the four previous matches. With his 25 goals, Giakoumakis has accounted for 60 percent of VVV’s 42 Eredivisie goals this season.
The kickstart of the Venlo residents was not continued. It was the smoother footballing RKC that took the initiative and soon equalized. A gaping hole in the central back at VVV offered Thijs Oosting free passage and the AZ mercenary coolly used the great opportunity (1-1). Fumbling by FC Utrecht mercenary Leon Guwara put Cyril Ngonge in a promising position and the Belgian curled the ball beautifully past VVV goalkeeper Thorsten Kirschbaum, against goal number 83 from VVV this season.
The team from Venlo, who had started the match so energetically, made an impression after the 1-2 of RKC, but showed resilience. At a psychologically important moment, just before half-time, VVV came alongside. It was again Van Crooij who took off on the right side and this time his cross reached Joshua John. The former player of Sparta Rotterdam and FC Twente took advantage of the opportunity (2-2).
The lively relegation duel kept going up and down after that. Sylla Sow headed on the post on behalf of RKC, while Simon Janssen, Van Crooij, Zinedine Machach and Giakoumakis had good chances for the home team. It was RKC that pressed the most for the winning goal after the break, but it would be VVV that took the lead. A great cross from substitute Lukas Schmitz was headed into the goal by Venlo player Van Crooij. The discharge was great at VVV, but the joy turned out to be short-lived. A few minutes later referee Jochem Kamphuis put the ball on the spot, because Giakoumakis made hands in the wall on a free kick (3-3).
In the last minutes VVV went on to play for the win and there were still good chances for Giakoumakis and substitute Torino Hunte, but the redeeming fourth goal would not fall anymore. With an away match against Ajax and a home match against FC Emmen, VVV’s prospects of playing in the Eredivisie next season are particularly cloudy, but after the sign of life against RKC, the Limburgers cannot be definitively written off.
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