By Samindra Kunti
May 1 – Vitesse Arnhem won their first ever major trophy with a 2-0 win in the Dutch Cup final against AZ Alkmaar. Ricky van Wolfswinkel scored both goals.
It was a first major piece of silverware in 125 years for the club owned by Russian businessman Alexander Chigirinsky. Striker van Wolfswinkel was instrumental in Arnhem’s success as he scored twice in the final ten minutes of the game to propel his club to victory. With the result Vitesse have sealed a spot in next season’s Europa League.
The final had much resembled a poor chess game, with both teams playing overly cautious and committing errors at Rotterdam’s famous De Kuip stadium, the usual setting for the Dutch Cup final. Alkmaar began with fine intentions, but the game quickly descended into a stalemate.
As the match meandered towards extra-time, van Wolfswinkel, a former Norwich City player, struck and headed in Vitesse’s opening goal from a Milot Rashica cross. Vitesse’s number 13 then sealed the win with a delightful chip over Alkmaar’s goalkeeper Tim Krul.
With the win Vitesse finally broke their hoodoo of club that couldn’t win silverware. “This cup is my World Cup, my Champions League,” commented Vitesse captain Guram Kashia.
Vitesse Arnhem have strong links with Chelsea as the London club often loans players to the Dutch side. Three players from the Premier League leaders featured in the final: midfielders Lewis Baker, Nathan and defender Matt Miazga.
In the Eredivisie Vitesse are in sixth place on 48 points with two match days remaining.
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