FC Twente qualified for the play-offs in the Conference League on Thursday evening without too many problems. The tukkers won 4-1 against Serbian FK Cukaricki in front of their own audience after last week’s 1-3 win in the first game.
Ron Jans’ team recovered from a rough start in front of its own audience. Cukaricki created a lot of danger in the initial phase, with Luka Adzic, among others, stirring. The 23-year-old attacker, who was active in the past for FC Emmen and PEC Zwolle without much success, even opened the score in Enschede after seven minutes.
The home team quickly repaired the damage. After more than fifteen minutes Robin Pröpper slid into a free kick and after 34 minutes Michel Vlap headed in. In the final phase, substitute Christos Tzolis recorded the final score with two beautiful goals.
FC Twente convincingly qualified for the last phase of the preliminary round of the Conference League.
FC Twente defense gives away a lot of space
In the first leg in Belgrade, FC Twente made the difference before half-time by running out to a 0-3 lead. Cukaricki showed a lot better after the resumption with the reward of 1-3.
Serbia’s number three last season seemed to have taken courage from the second half of last week and brutally put FC Twente under pressure in the opening phase. The home team gave away a lot of space in the back and Adzic’s 0-1 did not even come out of the blue.
FC Twente, which completed its first European home game since 2014, straightened its back in time and via Pröpper it was soon 1-1. The defender anticipated a free kick perfectly and worked the ball in while sliding. Thanks to Vlap, the audience was able to cheer again in the first half. After a nice attack, the ex-player of sc Heerenveen, among others, scored on a pass from Daan Rots.
Robin Pröpper slides in the equalizer.
Cukaricki doesn’t come close to comeback
After the resumption, the goalkeepers distinguished themselves. With the visitors, Novak Micovic turned a bet from Joshua Brenet who came along and Lars Unnerstall intervened professionally on behalf of FC Twente a few times.
In the final phase the pace was a lot lower than before the break and FC Twente mainly limited itself to consolidating the large margin. It didn’t look like Cukaricki would ruin the tuckers’ party. The atmosphere in the Grolsch Veste was already excellent, but it got even better after Tzolis’ 3-1. The substitute, a Norwich City mercenary, hit from the edge of the box. Deep into injury time, the Greek also made it 4-1. Again, the attacker made a wonderful effort.
In the battle for a ticket for the main tournament, FC Twente will duel with Fiorentina, the number seven of the past Serie A season, in the coming weeks. Well-known players in the squad from Florence are Sofyan Amrabat, Luka Jovic and Aleksandr Kokorin.
The first meeting is next Thursday in Florence, a week later the return is in Enschede. FC Twente will first play the Eredivisie match against Fortuna Sittard in front of its own audience on Sunday.