NETHERLANDS: Eredivisie Review – Week 3

Netherlands

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WEEK 3 – 17th-18th August 2013

PSV and surprisngly PEC Zwolle have three wins out of three and top the table after all the games are played in week three. Heerenveen lost their unbeaten record with a shock 4-2 defeat to Heracles as Feyenoord now sit nine points adrift of top spot after a 2-1 defeat to defending champions Ajax.

PSV - Go Ahead Eagles

PSV 3-0 GO AHEAD EAGLES

PSV keep up their 100% record with another win at home to Go Ahead Eagles, who headed into this game undefeated coming off a great victory hosting ADO Den Haag last weekend.

Eindhoven coach Philip Cocu needed to make two changes to his team due to injuries to young duo Jurgen Locadia and Zakaria Bakkali. Slovenian Tim Matavz returned in the lone spot up front with Florian Jozefzoon appearing on the right-wing in his first start for the club since his €850,000 move from RKC.

It was an even first-half with either ‘keeper being worked well but PSV right-back Santaigo Arias, a 20-year-old Colombian recently signed from Sporting Lisbon, was suffering with Eagles’s left-wing attacks. Down the left, Xander Houtkoop and Deniz Türüç were getting past Arias time after time, therefore Cocu made the decision to sub the Colombian for 19-year-old Joshua Brenet after half-an-hour, and the youngster coped well throughout.

Memphis Depay, on PSV’s left-wing, got into the game towards the end of the first half and Eagles goalkeeper Eloy Room, on loan from Vitesse, had to stop him three times from scoring before the interval.

Arriving for the second half, PSV stormed out of the blocks and found a breakthrough within two minutes. Jetro Willems finding space down the left, fired a ball across the box, Matatvz intercepted at the front post and placed Jozefzoon in to score on his first start.

The Philips Stadion faithful roared their team on and it was two eight minutes later. Swedish international Oscar Hiljemark hitting a low long range effort past Room from around 25 yards out.

The game was wrapped up with nine minutes remaining with a 30 yard free-kick from Depay. A swerving driving effort, that Room could only manage to palm onto the post but into the goal.

Another good win for Philip Cocu’s men who sit on top with superior goal difference to second placed PEC Zwolle, ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League first leg tie against Serie A giants AC Milan.

SC Cambuur - FC Groningen

SC CAMBUUR 4-1 FC GRONINGEN

After a promising start to the season, the world has come crashing down on Groningen, suffering a heavy 4-1 shock defeat away to lowly SC Cambuur.

Cambuur had failed to score a goal in the past two weeks of the season but they managed to find the net within two minutes of this match. Michiel Hemmen, scoring his first goal in the Eredivisie, pounced on a loose ball to finish after a mistake by Eric Botteghin.

It could have been two after 12 minutes with Groningen goalkeeper Marco Bizot saving his side on many occasions with a barrage of Cambuur attacks. The home side’s pressure was relentless and they did double the lead on 21 minutes through Erik Bakker. A one-two between Bakker and Hemmen placed the former into a lovely position in the box to time a first-time shot into Bizot’s goal.

The new boys were finding their groove and it was three on the stroke of half-time. Oebele Schokker crossed an inswinging corner and defender Ramon Leeuwin rose above everyone to power a header home. Groningen was sinking fast and would have been glad to hear the half-time whistle.

The away side emerged for the second-half knowing that they needed an early goal if they had any chance out getting back into the game and they scored five minutes after the restart. Michael de Leeuw, who had replaced the injured David Texeira midway through the first-half, scoring the goal. Nick van der Velden created some space down the right and swung in a cross for De Leeuw to smash a header past Leonard Nienhuis.

Groningen failed to score any more and Cambuur fourth killed off any chance of a comeback on 69 minutes. A lovely combination move by the hosts, which was finished by a low drive from Wout Droste from the right of the penalty area.

A huge win for Cambuur, finally getting some points on the board but as for Groningen, it was a terrible display. The game highlighting many problems for the team, and coach Erwin van de Looi will tend to these before next week’s travel to Deventer to play Go Ahead Eagles.

RKC Waalwijk - AZ

RKC WAALWIJK 1-2 AZ ALKMAAR

AZ Alkmaar travelled to Waalwijk and beat RKC 2-1 with Maarten Martens scoring the late winner just seconds after Jean-David Beauguel had equalised for the hosts.

AZ took a fourth-minute lead through American striker Aron Jóhannsson. After Nemanja Gudelj was trying to force his way into the box, the ball fell to the unmarked Jóhannsson to dink the ball over the onrushing Czech goalkeeper Jan Šeda.

RKC kept their composure and pressed for an equaliser with caution, and had to wait until seven minutes remaining to draw level.

French striker Beauguel had only been on the pitch for a matter of minutes replacing defender Ingo van Weert. Rushing onto a long ball from the counter-attack, the tall striker powered his way past defender Nick Viergever to chip goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado to send the crowd into raptures.

The crowd quickly calmed down a minute later when Gudelj crossed deep from the right to meet the volleying right foot of Martens to take home the points. A crushing blow for Erwin Koeman’s side.

NEC - PEC Zwolle

NEC NIJMEGEN 1-5 PEC ZWOLLE

The pressure is on for NEC coach Alex Pastoor, his team is propping up the league without a point and victims of a crushing 5-1 defeat to highflying PEC Zwolle.

Zwolle’s Jesper Drost scored after 12 seconds last weekend, making his goal the fastest ever in Eredivisie history. However, Drost must have thought his record had been smashed right in front of his eyes when NEC’s Victor Pálsson drove the ball home after just ten seconds on the clock, but English striker Michael Higdon was penalised for a foul a second earlier.

Drost was on the scoresheet again putting Zwolle in the lead on 15 minutes. His first shot was saved by Karl-Johan Johnsson, but he headed the rebound home.

The pair of Youness Mokhtar and Kamohelo Mokotjo once again ran the show for Zwolle and the two combined three minutes later to make it 2-0. The Moroccan midfielder Mokhtar weaved his way in and out of the NEC defence before laying onto the South African Mokotjo for his second goal of the campaign. The Nimigen crowd were not happy and boos rang out of the Goffertstadion.

The pain continued for Pastoor’s side before half-time with striker Fred Benson, lively throughout, grabbing his first goal of the day on 37 minutes. Once again, the tricky Mokhtar taking on defenders then whipped a ball for Benson to head home at the front post, to send the away side into the break three goals to the good.

Two more goals were added early in the second period. Surging down the wing, left-back Maikel van der Werff continued into the area and laid it on a plate for Benson to tap home for his second on 49 minutes. As Benson danced to celebrate, a small percentage of the NEC fans were seen leaving the stadium in disgust.

More boos rang out just three minutes later as Zwolle scored their fifth and final goal. Some good work from Mokotjo set-up Mokhtar to fire home to score a goal that he had well deserved.

NEC’s only consolation came from Christoph Hemlein’s 76th-minute strike which was met with sarcastic applause from the home fans. They had a perfect chance to score a second after Hemlein was fouled in the area by Zwolle ‘keeper Kevin Begios, but Higdon hit a poor penalty that was easily saved by the goalkeeper. It has been a poor start to the season from the English striker and he may be in danger of being dropped if his action in front of goal does not improve.

The Nijmegen side are in major trouble failing to grab any points in three outings and conceding five goals in two consecutive games. The pressure is indeed on for Alex Pastoor and they must look for victory at home to RKC next weekend, if he is still in charge by then, after most of the fans are calling for his resignation.

Zwolle on the other hand maintain an 100% record with three wins in three and they look stronger and stronger as the games go on, they host newly promoted Cambuur next Saturday night.

Roda JC Kerkrade - Vitesse

RODA JC 1-1 VITESSE

Two goals in seven minutes settled a 1-1 draw between Roda and Vitesse. Highly-rated Brazilian playmaker Lucas Piazón, on-loan from Chelsea, made his first start and impressed. His skill nearly produced the first goal on six minutes, he slalomed through three Roda defenders but Vitesse failed to capitalise on the Brazilian’s good work.

We had to wait until 62 minutes to get our first goal. Valeri Kazaishvili putting the visitors ahead after another Chelsea loanee, Patrick van Aanholt has pressed his way down the left-wing. The lef-back continued into the area to lay the ball off to the Georgian to finish high into the goal superbly.

Seven minutes the game was tied through some great reactions from Roda striker Marc Höcher. After captain Mark-Jan Fledderus had seen his shot crash off the crossbar, the alert Höcher fired the ball back across the goal to send the ball home into an empty net.

Ajax - Feyenoord

AJAX 2-1 FEYENOORD

Ronald Koeman’s title hopes with Feyenoord look to be all over as they currently sit nine points adrift of leaders PSV and PEC Zwolle. A Kolbeinn Sigthórsson brace helped Ajax defeated Koeman’s side 2-1 in the first De Klassieker of the season.

The Ajax eleven had to make changes from the team that were defeated 3-2 away to AZ Alkmaar last Sunday. Inspirational captain Siem de Jong is set to miss up to six weeks with a collapsed lung and Danish stalwart Christian Poulsen took his place in Frank de Boer’s team. Feyenoord also need to make changes due to the double sending-off of Stefan de Vrij and Jordy van Deelan last week against FC Twente. Nineteen-year-old right-back Sven van Beek made his debut with Miquel Nelom sitting in at left-back. Koeman had left new signing Samuel Armenteros, on-loan from Anderlecht, on the bench.

Feyenoord have now lost three matches in a row, which is their worst ever start to a season but they took the lead after just six minutes of play. A Ruud Vormer free-kick was swung towards the back post which hit Poulsen on the torso and dropped into Graziano Pelle’s feet. Kenneth Vermeer failed to clear and the Italian striker stabbed the ball into the net.

Before today, Ajax were unbeaten in the last 12 matches at the Amsterdam ArenA, the last defeat coming at the hands of Vitesse Arnhem, 2-0 in November 2012. De Boer’s side took control of the possession and pushed for an equaliser immediately.

Belgian defender Toby Alderweireld smashed a long-range effort towards goal on 17 minutes, all Erwin Mulder could do was parry the ball into Lasse Schöne’s path but the Dane spooned the shot wide.

Relentless in their attack, Ajax nearly got the goal two minutes later. Winger Ruben Schaken got caught in defence with the ball at his feet; Christian Eriksen picked his pocket but like his compatriot earlier placed the shot wide.

Just before the half-hour, Ajax turned up the tempo and after Mulder saved another effort from Eriksen, the defending champions were awarded a penalty.

Another Dane, the tricky Viktor Fischer was dribbling towards goal and Vormer dived in to tackle but brought the youngster down. Or so we thought, replays showed that Fischer clearly dived and Vormer failed to make any contact with the striker. Nevertheless, referee Björn Kuipers pointed to the spot and Iceland international Sigthórsson powerfully converted the spot kick.

Six minutes later, Sigthórsson got his and his team’s second. The Icelandic striker, now getting a permanent starting position after a long series of injuries, nodded a header in from a Ruben Ligeon cross. There was a bit of confusion as the header crashed off the underside of crossbar, but it bounced over the line. Fischer had a great chance to make it 3-1 before the half-time whistle but he crashed his shot against the post.

The second-half was majorly uneventful and although Feyenoord saw more of the ball, De Boer’s side held on for the three points. Ronald Koeman is now under major pressure as his side has failed to pick up a point in three matches and must start next week hosting NAC Breda. For Ajax, they travel to face Heerenveen to try and keep the pace of the title race as PSV run on.

SC Heerenveen - Heracles Almelo

HEERENVEEN 2-4 HERACLES

After a great start to the new campaign by Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen, they fell 4-2 to Heracles Almelo this afternoon.

De Superfriezen’s Icelandic hotshot Alfred Finnbogason, was at it again, scoring his fourth goal in three games after just three minutes into the game. Celtic have been watching Finnbogason to replace the void that Gary Hooper left by leaving for Norwich. The Scottish scouts would have been impressed they way he headed home Magnus Eikrem’s corner after escaping his marker at the near post.

Heracles were in poor form before today and their star player Lerin Duarte should have levelled the scores on 24 minutes. The midfielder found himself breaking the offside trap and was one-on-one with Kristoffer Nordfeldt, but Duarte hauled his shot wide of the post.

Ghanaian striker Matthew Amoah had another opportunity to draw level on 33 minutes, but his toe poke from close range was denied by Nordfeldt. Just before the teams broke for the interval, Duarte got his goal. Striker Mikhail Rosheuval whipped in a cross and there was Duarte to head home to equalise. Swedish ‘keeper Nordfeldt will be disappointed in the goalkeeping for this goal as the header squirmed under his legs.

The second period started slowly and the hosts have a great chance to regain the lead ten minutes into the half. Finnbogason was through on goal but instead of taking a shot the Icelandic international unselfishly passed to Luciano Slagveer who fired his shot into the arms of Remko Pasveer.

On 62 minutes, some poor defending by Van Basten’s men was punished by Ben Reinstra. Kenny Otigba dwelled on the ball and Reinstra finished with precision.

It was 3-2 six minutes later with a tremendous volleyed goal from Mike te Weirik. From 25 yards out, Te Weirik hit the ball sweetly on the half volley, giving the goalkeeper no chance of stopping.

On 72 minutes, Heerenveen grabbed a goal back and got themselves back in the game, as Rajiv van La Parra’s cross was turned in by Joey van den Berg.

Heracles sealed the win with two minutes remaining with another cracking goal. Bryan Linssen, a summer signing from relegated VVV Venlo, used some tremendous skill to cut inside the box from the left, before power driving a first time shot past Nordfeldt.

The first three points for Heracles and a much improved performance from their last two outings. As for Marco van Basten’s side, it was a disappointing defeat that highlighted some problems that need to be sorted if their aim is for European football next year.

NAC Breda - ADO Den Haag

NAC BREDA 1-2 ADO DEN HAAG

We had to wait until 76 minutes for the deadlock to be broken. Aaron Meijers picked the ball up just outside the penalty area before smashing a shot past goalkeeper Jelle ten Rouwelaar.

NAC Breda equalised from the penalty spot, which was their first goal of the season. ADO’s goalkeeper Gino Coutinho fouled Alex Schalk, and the striker converted to make it 1-1.

We still had time for drama deep into second-half stoppage time. With his first touch of the game since coming on, Michiel Kramer fired past Ten Rouwelaar to snatch the three points.

FC Twente - FC Utrecht

FC TWENTE 6-0 FC UTRECHT

The future of Jan Wouters in charge of Utrecht is in major doubt after a disastrous six goal defeat away to FC Twente.

The day started badly for Utrecht in the warm-up with first choice goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter picking up an injury and thus Jeroen Verhoeven replacing him in the first eleven.

Twente hit their first goal after just eight minutes when Quincy Promes twisting and turning two defender then hitting a low shot past Verhoeven. Two minutes later, Twente were awarded a dubious penalty, after an apparent foul by defender Johan Mårtensson on Shadrach Eghan. Serbian international Dušan Tadić converted the spot-kick to double the lead.

Shell-shocked Utrecht were 3-0 down after 25 minutes. Promes picked up a long ball in space down the right-wing, crossed into the box for Luc Castaignos to fire home.

It gopt worse for Wouters’ men as Castaignos added his second and his sides fourth on 35 minutes. The striker met a Tadić cross, with a diving header.

It was five twenty minutes into the second half. Tadić surged down the left-wing, before sending a pinpoint accurate cross into the box for Promes to nab his second.

Just before the final whistle, the final nail in Utrecht’s coffin was hammered home as captain Rasmus Bengtsson sent a powerful header past Verhoeven again.

Wouters and Utrecht now look set for a relegation battle this season and between the manager and Alex Pastoor of NEC, they both look favourites to be dismissed soon.

STANDINGS

20130818 - Eredivisie

WillBurns

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