Two arrests as Utrecht fans confront police after play-off loss

Utrecht supporters on the pitch after their team lost in extra time to Go Ahead Eagles. Photo: ANP/Gerrit van Keulen

Two people were arrested after fighting broke out after Utrecht’s defeat to Go Ahead Eagles in the European play-offs on Sunday.

Police reported that several officers were injured when fans threw stones, bicycles and other objects at riot police who were ordered to disperse the crowd outside the Galgenwaard stadium.

City mayor Sharon Dijksma issued the emergency order to clear the area around the stadium after a match that was interrupted several times, as supporters threw fireworks at each other and invaded the pitch at the end of the game.

One officer was taken to hospital with injuries while others were treated at the scene by ambulance crews, Utrecht police division reported on social media.

Violence flared up again later in the evening as Utrecht fans hurled mobile toilets cubicles at police who were escorting buses of Go Ahead fans away from the stadium.

“People deliberately sought to confront the police, whereby stones and other objects were thrown at officers and bicycles thrown at police vans,” Dijksma said.

“Order was only restored in the area around the station after the intervention of riot police.”

Go Ahead Eagles won the match 2-1 in extra time with a goal from Joris Kramer. Utrecht held a 1-0 lead from the 31st minute when Nick Viergever headed in from a corner, but victory slipped from their grasp in injury time when Viergever turned the ball into his own net.

Go Ahead will play in the second qualifying round of the Uefa Conference League on July 25 and August 1, with the draw taking place on June 19. The club finished the Eredivisie season in ninth place, four points behind Utrecht.

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