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Matt Miazga subs in early, Vitesse loses late against Willem II

Not a good result for Vitesse. Miazga, however, may find events in this game have combined to hand him a starting opportunity next week.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

A first-half injury to center back Maikel van der Werff saw Matt Miazga summoned a little earlier than usual for his now-customary off-the-bench appearance for Vitesse. The former New York Red Bulls defender was in the game from the 37th minute, which meant he was more visible in his team's weekly highlight reel than has tended to be the case since he dropped out of the starting lineup in November.

Unfortunately, Vitesse lost, 2-0. It was the team's first loss of 2017, and a tough result for head coach Henk Fraser to accept given that his side had ample opportunity to score before it was undone by two late counter-attacking goals.

Fraser may have a headache this week as he prepares his squad to pay Ajax on February 19. The starting lineup against Willem II included 20-year-old Kevin Diks at left back, as regular starter Arnold Kruiswijk is injured. Diks is a veteran of Vitesse's last two seasons, and has returned on loan from current club Fiorentina. He may need to deputize on the right side of the back four against Ajax, because Kelvin Leerdam will be suspended for yellow card accumulation.

And if Maikel van der Werff's injury is not quick to heal, there will also be a gap in the middle of the defense to be filled next week. The Vitesse defense is looking a little pressured, and that could mean Chelsea loanee Matt Miazga is back in the starting lineup sooner rather than later.