A disappointing first-half performance cost Vitesse as they were beaten 3-0 by Willem II in Arnhem.

Before kick-off, manager Thomas Letsch had to contend with several injuries to key players, as well as resting players in preparation for a pivotal Europa Conference League tie on Thursday against Anderlecht. Riechedly Bazoer was on the bench with Dominik Oroz and Enzo Cornelisse both starting in defence. Eliazar Dasa, Yann Gboho and Nicolai Frederiksen were also allowed to rest.

Vitesse’s makeshift defence had a difficult time with Kwasi Wriedt beating Oroz to simply head in the opening goal after 18 minutes. In the 36th minute, Che Nunnely took advantage of a Tomas Hajek error to round Markus Schubert and slot in Willem II’s second.

Vitesse offered very little in attack but just before the break, Timon Wellenreuther, back in goal for Willem II, made a good save to deny Lois Openda.

Tomas Letsch made a triple change after half time to try and salvage a result, but Willem II defended excellently to keep real chances to a premium.

Openda thought he had set up Frederiksen for a tap-in to get Vitesse back in the game just after the hour mark, but a tight offside call meant the Arnhem side couldn’t claw their way back into the game.

Late in the game, Wesley Spieringhs headed in a Max Svensson cross to seal the three points for the Tilburgers. It was Spieringhs’s first-ever professional goal.

Vitesse suffers their first league defeat of the season, while Willem II are now on three points. Vitesse must now improve for the clash with Anderlecht in Arnhem on Thursday.

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