Lucas Moura’s 96th-minute strike against Ajax secured Spurs’ progression to the 2018/19 Champions League final the last time they faced Dutch opposition, but they looked like a team years away from competing in Europe’s premier club competition again. A hostile atmosphere inside the Gelredome appeared to knock the ‘Lillywhites’ off their stride, as they failed to register a single shot on target throughout the first period.
Instead, it was the home side who threatened the most in the opening 45 minutes, and they found themselves appealing for a penalty midway through the half. Wittek was bundled down by recent-arrival Bryan Gil inside the Spurs box, but referee Harm Osmers was unmoved by the protests. Jacob Rasmussen then came close with a glancing header, but his effort failed to trouble Pierluigi Gollini.
For the third consecutive UEFA Europa Conference League game, Vitesse went into HT with a clean sheet intact, but their goal frame was rattled almost immediately after the break. Striking the ball with a first-time effort, Gil’s curling left-footed effort appeared to have put the visitors ahead, only for the crossbar to deny the 20-year-old a maiden Spurs goal.
A viral video at the weekend showed the stand collapsing under the Vitesse supporters during their derby win over NEC Nijmegen, and there would be similar scenes of celebration late on. Elazar Dasa had come close twice for the home side and it was his cross that picked out a lurking Wittek, whose left-footed volley nestled itself into the far corner.
It is now four goals in seven European games this season for the left-back, whose team sit second in Group G at the halfway point because of his heroics. Vitesse were rightly jubilant at the FT whistle, but this marks a first defeat of the Europa Conference League campaign for Spurs, who are now winless in their last four European away matches.