Sparta Rotterdam has again booked a victory in the Eredivisie. Trainer Maurice Steijn saw his team win 0-2 on Saturday at FC Emmen. Koki Saito scored for the third time in a row in the Eredivisie, making him the first Japanese since 2017 to do so on behalf of Sparta. Six years ago, Mike Havenaar in the shirt of ADO Den Haag was the last person who managed to do that. Sparta skips over FC Twente and is now fifth, although the Tukkers only come into action against AZ on Sunday.
Trainer Dick Lukkien opted for the same eleven names in Emmen fighting relegation as in the 2-0 victory over Excelsior a week ago. Mark Diemers was the point of contact in the front, with Jeremy Antonisse, Jari Vlak and Ole Romeny behind him who had to provide the supply. On the Sparta side, Adil Auassar was still suspended and Jonathan de Guzmán was suspended. Furthermore, the same eleven players who managed to win 3-1 against Vitesse last week.
3 – @SpartaRotterdam‘s Koki Saito is the first Japanese player to score in three consecutive Eredivisie games since Mike Havenaar in 2017. Triple. pic.twitter.com/IGSPRLCJRm
— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) March 18, 2023
Both teams started with offensive intentions. Saito issued a warning on behalf of Sparta and Julius Dirksen shot just wide in an attack by Emmen. Mickey van der Hart paid close attention to a corner kick from the visitors from Rotterdam after fifteen minutes and Emmen almost took the lead after half an hour from a scrimmage. A minute before the halftime signal, the ever-industrious Saito broke the spell. The wing attacker from Japan went past two Emmen defenders and then hit the far corner: 0-1. A hit that came somewhat out of the blue, but nobody cared about that at Sparta.
Shortly after the break, Van der Hart kept Emmen going with excellent saves on attempts by Arno Verschueren and Bart Vriends. Verschueren was unlucky in the early stages of the second half when his hard header hit the bar. Emmen was still alive and diligently went looking for the equalizer. Nick Olij reached his goal in time when Vlak was stabbed away by Diemers. The Sparta goalkeeper also prevented substitute Ahmed El Messaoudi from scoring. Van Crooij put an end to all tension one minute before the end of regular playing time: The right attacker trumped Dirksen and outwitted Van der Hart with a blast in the short corner: 0-2.
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Date:Saturday, March 18, 2023, 6:45 p.m
Stadium:The Old Meerdijk (Emmen)
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