It was very much a game of two halves for Vitesse in Groningen on January 21. After the first 45 minutes, visiting Vitesse was 1-0 down thanks to an own-goal. Head coach Henk Fraser did not enjoy the first half. "We got our thunder," defender Kelvin Leerdam (credited with the goal that put Groningen ahead) said of the coach's half-time talk to his team, per Voetbal International. Perhaps a little shaken by Fraser's fury, Vitesse responded with a goal early in the second half. Scorer Navarone Foor further demonstrated his commitment by drawing a red card in the 86th minute.
The match ended 1-1 with Fraser grudgingly accepting the result: "Actually, we have thrown away the match in the first half and then you should probably be glad that you still pick up a point," he told Voetbal International.
Matt Miazga was a surprising beneficiary of his coach's anger at Vitesse's first-half display. The match had previously been distinguished as a somewhat rare occasion when the Vitesse starting lineup contained no players on loan from Chelsea. Miazga was summoned off the bench at half-time, subbing in for captain Guram Kashia.
It was a move Fraser made more to shake his team up than out of any apparent long-term intention to relegate the team captain to the bench. Still, it worked and, for the second week running, Miazga has found himself called into a game for Vitesse. For a player who had been struggling to get any minutes at all for most of November and December, back-to-back league appearances for the first team counts as a positive development.
Next up for Vitesse and Miazga is a Dutch Cup match against Feyenoord on January 26, followed by a league game against AZ on January 29. The necessity to rotate a few players may see further minutes for Miazga in the week ahead.