Almere City FC is on the verge of a historic promotion to the Eredivisie following their victory in the first match of the play-off finals against FC Emmen. In front of their home crowd, coached by Alex Pastoor, Almere City secured a 2-0 win.
Lance Duijvestijn emerged as the hero for Almere City, scoring both goals at the Yanmar Stadium. The midfielder opened the scoring with a penalty halfway through the second half and quickly followed it up with another goal.
This triumph puts Almere City incredibly close to achieving their first promotion to the Eredivisie. The club, originally known as FC Omniworld until the 2009/2010 season, was established in 2001 and has been competing in the Eerste Divisie since 2005. Their promotion could be sealed in the return leg against Emmen scheduled for Sunday.
Almere City displayed an excellent start to the match, coming close to scoring within the first two minutes when Théo Barbet’s header was cleared off the line by Lorenzo Burnet. Despite that early chance, the home team continued to exert pressure, while Emmen threatened for the first time in the 18th minute through Ahmed El Messaoudi, whose shot was blocked by Nordin Bakker after a pass from Richairo Zivkovic.
Emmen gradually gained more control towards the end of the first half. Shortly after the break, El Messaoudi had another opportunity, but his attempt narrowly missed the target. However, after more than an hour of play, Almere City struck first. They were awarded a penalty following a foul by Zivkovic on Rajiv van La Parra, and Duijvestijn calmly converted from the spot.
Emmen immediately launched a pursuit for the equalizer and came close through Ole Romeny. However, with thirteen minutes remaining, they conceded another goal. Duijvestijn tapped in from close range, this time from Pascu’s cross.
Almere City had a chance to make it 3-0 shortly after, but Anthony Limbombe missed the target. In the final stages of the game, Emmen searched for a goal to narrow the gap, but efforts from Mike te Wierik and a bicycle kick from Miguel Araujo were unsuccessful.