Article courtesy of Total Dutch Football
The title looks to be heading to Amsterdam for the third year in a row as Ajax defeated PSV 3-2 on Sunday and other rivals Vitesse and Feyenoord dropped more points.
Friday 12th April 2013
VVV Venlo 0
PEC Zwolle 2 (Benson 12, 63)
PEC Zwolle condemned VVV Venlo further into relegation trouble with a 2-0 away win in Friday night’s live televised game. At the same time, Zwolle seemed to have cemented the fact that they will be playing top flight league football next season.
Ghanaian-born striker Fred Benson had an impressive game, collecting two goals to take his tally to five this season in 28 games. The first came about with Zwolle’s first chance just under 12 minutes, after some nice work from Youness Mokhtar then ball fell to Benson who finished the play with a hard shot that gave VVV goalkeeper Niki Mäenpää no chance.
The second goal came from route one football. A long ball sent over from Wiljan Plume and Benson found himself in some space to lash the ball home and confirm the three points. It was a poor lacklustre display by VVV Venlo with only Bryan Linssen looking threatening out of the eleven. Zwolle move up to twelfth and VVV stay situated in the relegation playoff spot.
Saturday 13th April 2013
Roda JC 3 (Malki 63P, Demouge 70, Donald 90)
Vitesse Arnhem 3 (Havenaar 26, 36, Bony 55)
Vitesse with Theo Janssen and Patrick van Aanholt returning to the team, played limp and lost two vital points in their challenge for the title and Champions League football. The visitors had an early scare when Mitchell Donald hit the post for Roda, but tall striker Mike Havenaar added two first half games to set them cruising. The first goal, Havenaar headed from a Renato Ibarra pass and ten minutes later he grabbed a second with Wilfried Bony assisting. The Ivorian added his own goal and the 30th of the Eredivisie season and 36 in all competitions on 55 minutes. The game was over… or so Vitesse thought.
Roda did not give up and a handball in the box from Jan-Arie van der Heijden gave them a lifeline, Sanharib Malki took the opportunity and gave the home fans belief. Fighting for their Eredivisie survival, took the game by the horns and battled a second goal from the on-loan striker Frank Demouge. Substitute Guus Hupperts played Demouge in and he smashed the ball passed Piet Velthuizen and brought his team back to 3-2. Roda coach Ruud Brood smelt blood added another striker to the mix and Mikolaj Lebedynski entered the fray. Eloy Room was needed by Vitesse late on due to an injury to Velthuizen but within minutes the fresh goalkeeper was beaten.
Luckily for the reserve goalkeeper, Malki was declared offside on 85 minutes. Roda must have thought their luck was out until Mitchell Donald headed a 90th minute leveller.
A quick note on Wilfried Bony, with the third goal today being his 36th in all competitions, he has now tied for record for Vitesse that Greek striker Nikos Machlas created in the 1997-1998 season.
NAC Breda 2 (Lurling 82, Hooi 85)
NEC Nijmegen 0
In a mid-table battle, NAC Breda left it late to defeat NEC to move up to eleventh in the league. It was the 82nd minute when Anthony Lurling got the Breda fans inside the Rat Verlegh Stadion cheering. Elson Hooi added the a second and sealed the three points for NAC with just five minutes to go. Both goals that Hungarian goalkeeper Gabor Babos, also captain of the team, could have saved, but was poor in the posts this evening. Strangely enough, Babos has signed for NAC Breda and will head there at the end of the season. With this win, NAC look clear of relegation worries.
FC Groningen 2 (Texeira 62, Bacuna 76P)
Two second half goals clinched the points for Groningen away to Heracles which moved the Pride of the North up to seventh. First goal came just after the hour mark, when Heracles failed to clear a huge kick from goalkeeper Marco Bizot, and David Texeira pounced on the loose ball, edged into the box and finished superbly.
A black cat invaded the pitch soon after and brought the home side nothing but bad luck. Defender Thomas Bruns tripped Slovenian winger Andraž Kirm on what looked to be the edge of the box, the referee pointed to the penalty spot to much protest from the Black and White stripes. Leandro Bacuna smashed the penalty home past Remko Pasveer to cement the win for the visitors.
ADO Den Haag 1 (van Duinen 41)
FC Twente 3 (Douglas 24, Bulykin 81, 83)
Russian striker Dmitry Bulykin, former player of ADO, came on late and made in the difference in this match with two goals in the closing stages. At that time, ADO was playing with a man less, after the red card of Danny Holla.
it was until the 24th minute that Twente took the lead, by Brazilian defender Douglas. A free-kick was swung ion from the left and after a scramble in the box, the big defender was in the right place in the right time to put his team in front. ADO were level before the break, when Aaron Meijers fed Mike van Duinen through on goal and Twente’s Bulgarian keeper Nikolai Mihailov could not stop the equaliser.
After an hour, however, followed a setback for Den Haag. Holla was punished for a foul on Wout Brama and received his second yellow card. This meant that the home team had to go without their captain for the remainder, and to make matter worse, coach Maurice Steijn was also sent to the stands. Twente went on the offensive and goal opportunities came for Dusan Tadic, who shot twice wide and a blast of Felipe Gutierrez also just went wide. Then on 74 minutes, substitute Bulykin made his entrance and grabbed two goals in as many minutes.
The first was orchaeasted by Nader Chadli, dribbling the ball through the ADO defence and feeding the Russian in to score. The final nail in ADO’s coffin was Bulykin latching on the rebound after an attempt by Tadic after Gino Coutinho palmed away the Serbian’s chipped attempt.
Sunday 14th April 2013
Heerenveen 3 (El Ghanassy 53, Finnbogasson 55, 84P)
Willem II 2 (Ippel 12, Joachim 80)
Marco van Basten’s side will be thanking his lucky stars and Alfreð Finnbogason after his late penalty gave Heerenveen all three points when it looked like they had gave them away. The bottom side, Willem II now look resigned to relegation when glancing at the league table but they did take the lead at Abe Lenstra Stadion.
After just 12 minutes, Willem found themselves ahead. 21 year old midfielder Ricardo Ippel grabbed a rebound from a free-kick and volleyed first time, beneath the crossbar which keeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt should have done better with. The break came and Heerenveen were lucky just to be the solitary goal down but they arrived back out a different beast. This showed on 53 minutes as Belgian winger Yassine El Ghanassy calmly finishing from the back post after receiving a Patrick van Aanholt cross. Two minutes later, Heerenveen had competed the turnaround. Icelandic striker Finnbogason grabbed his 22nd in the league this season with an easy tap in. Some sloppy defending by the home side let Tim Cornelisse thread the ball through to Luxembourg striker Aurélien Joachim to grab a 80th minute leveller. The Tilburgers did not hold out to the point for long as captain Philipp Haastrup got caught guilty of hand ball. Taking his tally up to 23 for the league season, Finnbogason placed the penalty home and clinched the win.
AZ Alkmaar 6 (Altidore 28P, 34P, 37, van der Hoorn 45+1OG, Henriksen 61, Jóhannsson 90)
FC Utrecht 0
AZ’s relegation worries were eased after a huge 6-0 win over nine-man Utrecht which included a first-half hat-trick from American international striker Jozy Altidore. Utrecht would have felt their were fighting a losing battle when they had Anouar Kali and Jan Wuytens both sent off before Altidore put AZ 2-0 up after 34 minutes. Kali was sent off for a second yellow after conceding the penalty with a foul on Altidore in the 27th minute, this was the 1500th red card in the league.
To make matters worse for Utrecht, before the second penalty, first choice goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter had to be replaced due to injury and Jeroen Verhoeven found himself beaten five times before the final whistle.
RKC Waalwijk 1 (Duits 55)
Feyenoord 1 (Pelle 13P)
Feyenoord let their title hopes slip through their fingers after only achieving a draw away to RKC. Feyenoord started well and went ahead with Italian forward Graziano Pelle hiting a penalty home for his 23rd of the season.
In the 55th minute, RKC drew level with an individual effort from Sander Duits that shattered Feyenoord hearts and their title dreams.
Feyenoord coach Ronald Koeman stated he was “deeply disappointed in his team” in an TV interview afterwards.
PSV 2 (Lens 41, 67)
Ajax 3 (Sigthorsson 31, Eriksen 50, Boerrigter 77)
Ajax look set to be champions again after defeating PSV 3-2 and now have a five point gap between themselves and second place Vitesse. It was the visitors that took the lead with striker Kolbein Sigthorsson jumping onto a mis-kicked Mark van Bommel ball just after half an hour gone. Ajax maybe should have had a chance to extend the lead with a penalty when young Danish striker Viktor Fischer was grabbed by Van Bommel just inside the box but nothing was given.
Ajax must have been hoping to take the lead in at half time, but this was not to be. Sloppy play by Christian Eriksen in his own half let Georginio Wijnaldum steal in and knock the ball onto Kevin Strootman. Strootman kept his cool, one on one with Jasper Cillessen and slided the ball through to the unmarked Jermaine Lens to finish.
PSV started the brighter at the start of the second half but it was Ajax to hit them on the counter attack and go 2-1 up. It was Christian Eriksen who made up for his first half error on 50 minutes with a wonderful solo effort that he smashed home at Boy Waterman’s front post. PSV pressed as Ajax sat back and defended their lead. On 67 minutes, PSV were back level. The impressive Dries Mertens’ whipping free-kick rattled off the post and Lens was there again to poke home with a well-controlled finish inside the post.
Ajax were furious just a minute later, when they should have definitely been awarded a penalty kick this time. Midfielder Lasse Schone sped past Jetro Willems and the young left-back brought the Dane down in the box, referee Björn Kuipers waved claims away. PSV replaced Willems with Erik Pieters and Ajax switched Christian Poulsen for Derk Boerrigter and on 76 minutes, both were involved in the fifth goal of the match. With his first touch of the game, Boerrigter pounced on a terrible mix-up between goalkeeper Waterman and Pieters to regain the lead.
PSV will need Ajax to drop two games to get back in the title race but with only four games left in the league season, it certainly looks like the title will be heading to Amsterdam again.
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