A late Zakaria Labyad free kick earned Utrecht a deserved victory over Roda JC.

The first half proved to be frustrating for the hosts, who lost Giovanni Troupee through injury before completely dominating possession without finding a way through the Roda JC defence. Zakaria Labyad sent a free kick just over while Mark van der Maarel headed a corner wide as the visitors defended valiantly.

Ten minutes into the second half, Sebastien Haller was played in on goal by Yassin Ayoub but the strikers weak effort was turned behind by Benjamin van Leer. Moments later Gyrano Kerk went on a mesmerising run through the Roda defence but the winger’s shot came back off the post before van Leer made a save on the rebound. Kerk then saw an effort cleared off the line as it seemed Utrecht were heading for a frustrating 0-0 draw.

However, with four minutes left Labyad broke the deadlock with an excellent curling free-kick which left van Leer with no chance. The midfielder nearly made it 2-0 soon after but his dipping strike sailed inches past the post.

Roda JC could find no equaliser in the last few minutes and they remain 15th. Utrecht have sealed fourth spot in the table.

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