For a whole 120 minutes, the match went goalless, but when it was time for penalties, FC Groningen proceeded to prove themselves better than their opponent Fortuna Sittard. After 38 years there are 2 first division clubs in the semi-finals again. The last time this happened was in the 1985/1986 season.
It was tense in the stadium, even though Romano Postema was very close to scoring in the first half, but his shot hit the goalpost. He held back, until the all-decisive penalties, Postema shot straight in the goal.
The team and fans were nervously waiting for all the others until Fortuna’s last penalty. “It was nerve-racking, our supporters were helping with lights and making gestures and then the ball went over. You just go absolutely crazy at that moment,” Romano Postema told RTV Noord.
Keeper Hidde Jurjus managed to guard his post for the whole game and was very aware of what that meant for his club, as well as how special this was going to be.
“A lot of emotions came up because moments like this don’t happen often. I tried to fully enjoy myself,” said Jurjus.
The vibes were immaculate in the stadium, Dick Lukkien, FC Groningen coach, recalls. The last time they managed to win the KNVB Cup, Lukkien was an assistant, now he sees old times replay as head coach.
“It was a great atmosphere in the stadium, just like old times! The game wasn’t great but the club fought to prove its worth, which is even more impressive if you look at the average age,” said Lukkien.
The first time FC Groningen won the KNVB Cup was in 2015. Winning again this year would add a second KNVB Cup trophy to the club’s case.
The first semi-final will be played on the 27th of February.