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Sparta Rotterdam Goalkeeper Chases Off Pitch Invader And Is Then Hit By A Bottle

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Sparta Rotterdam Goalkeeper Chases Off Pitch Invader And Is Then Hit By A Bottle

Sparta Rotterdam's game with Vitesse Arnhem on Friday night was called off in injury time, after goalkeeper Maduka Okoye was hit by a fan throwing a bottle.

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The keeper, on loan from Watford, was in impressive form on the night, saving a 64th minute penalty from Lois Openda, and having the kind of game that would have earned him a Man of the Match award.

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Sparta had scored after just five minutes, through Adrian Dalmau, and looked to be hanging on to all three points, after 17 shots from the hosts.

As the match moved into injury time, one home fan ran onto the pitch and approached Okoye, but the 22-year-old wasn't having any of it.

The keeper confronted the idiot fan and told him in no uncertain terms to get off the pitch, leaving the moron looking scared to the point it's a surprise there wasn't a trail of brown running behind him as he left the field.

However, just moments later another fan, sat behind the goal, threw a bottle at Okoye, hitting him on the head, and causing the match to be suspended.

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The Nigerian, who has played 16 times for his country, made nine saves in total during the game, including six from inside the box.

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One of those was the penalty and he also made his presence known in the box throughout and stopped Vitesse from getting any joy out of their dominance.

It was a sad end to the match though, with fans once again ruining things as has happened plenty of times recently, with coins being thrown in some matches in England.

Okoye saves the penalty. Image: PA Images
Okoye saves the penalty. Image: PA Images

Vitesse Arnhem FC director Pascal Van Wijk spoke of the moment after the match, telling ESPN, "I have been working here for eighteen years now and this is just a black day for the Vitesse family, the real supporters and not for two or three people who ruin it for the rest.

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"...That is not appropriate on the football field at home. The ringleaders are, in any case, in the picture; we have cameras. I have every confidence that they will be caught.

"What will be the punishment? As far as I’m concerned, a lifelong stadium ban. I never have to see it here again."

Fireworks were also thrown on the pitch. Image: PA Images
Fireworks were also thrown on the pitch. Image: PA Images

Sparta said in their own statement that they wanted the match to be suspended because of player safety, saying, "Sparta Rotterdam is disappointed with the premature end of the match between Vitesse and the Kasteelclub.

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"A number of incidents piled up in stoppage time, as a result of which referee Rob Dieperink stopped the match.

"...The players, staff members, and the management of Sparta were of the opinion that safety could not be guaranteed, given the succession of incidents.

"As a result, the focus of our players was no longer fully focused on football and safety and that is the first priority for the entire club."

The final five minutes of the match will be played in the future, should Sparta hold on to their lead then they will go within one point of safety, near the bottom of the table.


Featured Image Credit: ESPN

Topics: Vitesse, Eredivisie, Netherlands

Ryan Sidle
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