RKC started the new Eredivisie season with a 2-2 draw against FC Utrecht. A result that the Waalwijkers had probably signed up for beforehand. But because RKC went into halftime with a 2-0 lead, the result will eventually have a sour aftertaste.

    RKC saw a number of important players leave the club this summer. That’s how defenders Melle Meulensteen and Ahmed Touba left. Still, Joseph Oosting chose not to change his 5-3-2 system from last season. Newcomers Florian Jozefzoon and Zakaria Bakkali were not yet part of the competition selection. Arsenal mercenary Mika Biereth started from the bench.

    RKC’s opponent, FC Utrecht, started very strong. Within five minutes, the Domstedelingen were twice close to the opening goal. The away team started the game brighter than the Waalwijkers and RKC struggled to create opportunities.

    Despite the difficult start, RKC had the opportunity to open the score in the fourteenth minute. Left back Thierry Lutonda served Illias Bel Hassani. The midfielder was able to sign for the 1-0 from very close, but the ball was miraculously worked out of the goal.

    First hits of the season
    The corner that followed resulted in the goal for the Waalwijkers: newcomer Patrick Vroegh put the ball on Michiel Kramer’s head. The ball ended up at the feet of Dario van den Buijs through the head of the new captain. With half a volley, the defender passed Utrecht goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas. The first Waalwijk goal of the season is a fact.

    The goal gave RKC wings. Joseph Oosting’s team showed good football at times and they kept things closed in the back. RKC did not get any great opportunities, but in the final phase of the first half it still took a 2-0 lead. Bel Hassani, who was very close to success before, scored the ball hard and low into the far corner. The ball crossed the line through the post, allowing the home team to go into halftime with a wonderful feeling.

    Not 3-0 but 2-1
    After the break, the visitors brought in their new striker Bas Dost. Shortly after Kramer had missed a mega opportunity for RKC, the same Dost took care of the connecting goal after a mistake by RKC’s keeper EtiĆ«nne Vaessen. Instead of 3-0 it became 2-1 and this could well be the turning point in the match.

    The goal against came out of the blue, but it seemed to help the away team back into the game. But actually RKC continued to do well defensively. It gave little to nothing away and with Shawn Adewoye even got the perfect chance to make it 3-1. Because he omitted it, it remained exciting in the Mandemakers Stadium with ten minutes to go.

    Where RKC therefore left the opportunities unused, Dost turned out to be a golden substitute. The striker of Utrecht headed in the equalizer in the 85th minute. Sour for RKC, because the Waalwijkers gave little away. Less than two minutes later, RKC could have taken the lead again after substitute Julian Lobete almost worked in a cross.

    In stoppage time, both teams went looking for the winning goal. The tension in the stands was palpable, especially when Dost missed two more big chances. As a result, the opening game ended in a draw. Next week, RKC will visit PhD student FC Emmen.