Utrecht are out of the Europa League after an extra-time 2-1 defeat to Zrinjski Mostar.

Last week, Utrecht missed chance after chance and had to settle for a 1-1 draw against the Bosnian side. John van den Brom decided to name the same eleven from that match for the second leg.

Chances were few and far between in the opening period but in the first minute of first-half injury time, Utrecht took the lead. A Simon Gustafson free-kick found its way past Zrinjski Mostar goalkeeper Ivan Brkic.

The hosts improved after the break and went on the attack. That opened up space for Utrecht but Vaclav Cerny, Justin Lonwijk and Gyrano Kerk couldn’t take advantage.

In the 65th minute, Mostar equalised as Irfan Hadzic fired an excellent strike past David Jensen.

Utrecht looked the more likely to find a winner before the end but the game headed to extra-time. The first big chance was for Utrecht but Gustafson’s free-kick was tipped round the post by Brkic.

It seemed the game was destined for penalties but in the 112th minute, disaster struck. Janssen tried to clear a cross but scuffed it onto the bar. It came down and Jensen looked to catch the ball but instead palmed it into the path of Ivan Lendric who found the empty net.

There was to be no late equaliser and Utrecht are now out of Europe at the first hurdle. Another blow for Netherlands coefficient after PSV’s Champions league exit.




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