Havenaar loses in Vitesse debut

Kyodo

Japan striker Mike Havenaar had a bitter debut in Europe on Sunday as his Vitesse Arnhem suffered a 1-0 home defeat to fierce rivals NEC Nijmegen in the Dutch first division.

Vitesse conceded the only goal of the game by Leroy George in the 75th minute, two minutes after Havenaar came off the bench for Nicky Hofs.

The towering 24-year-old forward, wearing No. 14 — the number of Dutch legend Johan Cruyff, came close when he sent a header wide of the right post five minutes from time.

“To lose a derby match at home is the worst thing you can think of,” Havenaar said. “Yeah, I made my first appearance, but we lost. I’ll just try to learn from this experience and do better in the coming matches.”