Guram Kashia netted an injury time winner as Vitesse defeated Utrecht 3-2 in the first-leg of the European playoff final.

Utrecht welcomed back Yassine Ayoub to the starting line-up but Ajax bound Zakaria Labyad had to settle for a place on the bench.

The visitors started strongly and nearly took the lead in the first four minutes through Sander van de Streek and Ayoub. Vitesse then woke up with Tim Matavz and Mason Mount striking the post in quick succession.

Just before the break, Vitesse took the lead as Roy Beerens cross was met by the head of Mount and flew into the net.

Early in the second half, Labyad appeared from the bench and he made an instant impact on 62 minutes with a corner that was headed into the net by Ramon Leeuwin. Utrecht then went close to taking the lead before Bryan Linssen restored Vitesse’s lead on 78 minutes with a cross/shot which curled into the top corner from a tight angle.

With four minutes left, Labyad, who completed his move to Ajax on Monday, equalised for Utrecht with a low strike from distance which fooled Jeroen Houwen.

The game was set for a draw but in the 91st minute, Guram Kashia headed in a free-kick to ensure Vitesse take a lead into the second leg. On Saturday evening, Utrecht host the return tie.

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