NETHERLANDS: Eredivisie Review – Week 4

Netherlands

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WEEK 4 – 23rd-25th August 2013

Ajax have stumbled again in the defence of their Eredivisie thriller in Friday night’s six goal thriller against Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen. PEC Zwolle sit top of the Eredivisie standings with their fourth win in four as Ji-Park Sung, on his league debut scored a late equaliser to keep PSV’s undefeated run in tact.

SC Heerenveen - Ajax

HEERENVEEN 3-3 AJAX

Frank de Boer will be worried about his side’s shocking defensive frailties as Heerenveen overturned a two-goal deficit to hold Ajax to a 3-3 draw in an exhilarating encounter inside the Abe Lenstra Stadion.

Missing left-back Daley Blind, De Boer was forced to play young Danish defender Nicolas Boilesen as Belgian centre-back Toby Alderweireld passed a late fitness test after suffering a perforated ear drum in the 2-1 win over Feyenoord last Sunday.

Two goalkeeping howlers by Heerenveen’s Swedish stopper Kristoffer Nordfeldt handed Ajax a two goal lead, and both goals were headers from Christian Eriksen corners. The opening goal came as Ajax defender Niklas Moisander rose above everyone at the back post to head down through Nordfeldt’s legs.

Four minutes later, it was two. Icelandic striker Kolbeinn Sigþórsson, also at the far post, rising above the failing Nordfeldt to make it 2-0. However, Van Basten’s side pulled the game back to lead 3-2 at the half-time whistle.

The Eredivisie ‘Golden Boot’ leader Alfred Finnbogason was once again on the scoresheet, nabbing a brace before the break. The Iceland international sprung the offside trap to latch onto Hakim Ziyech’s through-ball and fire past Kenneth Vermeer, before the same combination brought the equaliser when Finnbogason latched onto the Ziyech’s lofted pass and coolly slotted under the goalkeeper.

The turnaround was complete shortly before the internal when Norwegian midfielder Magnus Wolff Eikrem side-footed an effort from the edge of the box past the stunned Vermeer.

The champions Ajax showed their own fighting spirit when Christian Eriksen completed a fine individual performance with a well-placed finish from 25-yards on 66 minutes.

The 3-3 draw leaves both sides neck and neck with Ajax just ahead of Heerenveen in fourth, with the hosts sitting fifth due on goal difference.

 

NEC - RKC Waalwijk

NEC NIJMEGEN 2-2 RKC WAALWIJK

Managerless NEC Nijmegen nearly clinched their first win of the season through two Michael Higdon spot-kicks but two second-half goals in seven minutes provided a comeback for RKC Waalwijk to share the points.

Alex Pastoor was dismissed on Monday and life without him began with two first-half penalties from Englishman Michael Higdon. Scouser Higdon, was the top scorer in the Scottish Premier League last season with Motherwell, was also named PFA Scotland Players’ Player of the Year because of his accomplishments.

A third penalty of the game gave RKC a lifeline midway through the second period, Sander Duits blasting the spot-kick high into the goal.

With twenty minutes remaining RKC were level. Luxembourg international Aurélien Joachim scoring with a wonderful looping header, from an Ingo van Weert cross deep from the right.

The points were shared and NEC will look this week to replace Pastoor with a new head coach.

Heracles Almelo - PSV

HERACLES 1-1 PSV

Incredibly unlucky not to grab all three, Heracles gained a fantastic point against PSV, who looked to be suffering from a Champions League hangover.

Six minutes into the play Heracles scored their goal. PSV’s left-winger Memphis Depay knocked the ball too far out of his control near the edge of his own area and Kwame Quansah dove in and won the ball. Lerin Duarte, controlled the ball and curled it home on the edge of the box past the diving Jeroen Zoet. A great finish.

Depay almost made amends to his mistake on 11 minutes with a trademark long-range free-kick that forced a great scrambling save from Remko Pasveer.

Phillip Cocu’s men looked jaded and sloppy and it was the unfavoured hosts that looked more likely to score the next goal. Bryan Linssen, who scored a wonderful volleyed goal last week, went close with a free-kick of his own on 20 minutes.

As time went on, the Eindhoven got a control of the game and the liveliest of the attacking three, Florian Jozefzoon went close with a shot towards Pasveer’s near post which the goalkeeper turned behind.

PSV should have been level inside first-half stoppage, Jozefzoon again involved worked his way into the box and played in Jurgen Locadia, but a last ditch tackle by Mike te Wierik folied any attempt.

The home side could have furthered their lead minutes into the second period when Linssen curled a beautiful shot towards Zoet’s goal but PSV were saved by the crossbar.

Shortly after the hour mark, Cocu’s side suffered a major blow when Georginio Wijnaldum went down after a 50-50 tackle with Te Wierik. The PSV captain had to be helped from the pitch, due to a problem with his right foot and was replaced by Korean attacking midfielder Park Ji-Sung. Assessments will be made on Monday morning and it is unknown if Wijnaldum will travel with the squad to Milan for Wednesday’s second leg in the Champions League play-off.

Cocu staring his first defeat since taking over as PSV coach in the face was saved by the little Korean with just four minutes to go. Midfielder Stijn Schaars forced his way into the box feeding the ball to Park, who tussled with Heracles defenders before toe poking the ball past Pasveer.

It was the first points that PSV have dropped this season, making a tremendous start to the campaign but they fall into second place after Zwolle’s win later that evening.

ADO Den Haag - Roda JC Kerkrade

ADO DEN HAAG 0-4 RODA JC

In an unexpected result, Roda JC hammered four past ADO to move up to fourth in the league.

The visitors controlled the game from the off and went a goal ahead in the 25th minute, when defender Kees Luijckx out jumped Tom Beugelsdijk at the back post to head in a Marc Höcher cross.

Just before the half-time whistle the lead was doubled from Henk Dijkhuizen.

Surging into the ADO area, Dijkhuizen played a one-two with forward Krisztián Németh before placing the ball into the net with ease.

Even though ADO arrive back on the pitch after the interval looking hungry to get themselves back in the game, it was Roda, on 53 minutes, who grabbed a third. ADO keeper Gino Coutinho was totally caught out by Mark-Jan Fledderus’s free-kick which missed everyone and sailed into the net.

The final nail in ADO’s coffin came with a quarter-of-an-hour remaning. Flicking on another Fledderus free-kick, Mitchell Donald nodded the ball past Coutinho to make it four.

ADO have made a poor start with just the one win this season, as Roda stroll on undefeated in the last three games.

PEC Zwolle - SC Cambuur

PEC ZWOLLE 2-0 SC CAMBUUR

Although it was quite the even match, PEC Zwolle won their fourth consecutive game against a plucky SC Cambuur side that had their chances to score goals.

It was a goal-less and pretty uneventful first-half with Zwolle striker Fred Benson, usually clinical with his finishing, missed some glorious opportunities to breach Leonard Nienhuis’s goal.

Guyon Fernandez, on-loan from Feyenoord, arrived in the second-half as a half-time substitute for Mustafa Saymak, and opening the scoring with twenty minutes to go. Benson held up the ball in the box and layed it off to Mateusz Klich to drive at goal. Nienhuis could only the parry the ball into the path of Fernandez, who controlled the ball with his hand before tapping home.

The lead should been doubled minutes later, Benson again through on goal, placed his shot into the side-netting.

With twelve minutes to go it was 2-0, the tricky Jesper Drost was tripped by Martijn van der Laan and the referee pointed to the spot. Rochdi Achenteh stepped up and fired home to steal the three points for the new league leaders.

 

20130825 - GAE 3-3 Groningen

GO AHEAD EAGLES 3-3 FC GRONINGEN

Eredivisie new boys Go Ahead Eagles put in another valiant performance and were unlucky to go home with all three points early Sunday afternoon.

The hosts took the lead after just ten minutes with a yet another goal from Marnix Kolder. Erik Falkenburg found some space down the right and swung a ball across the goal for Kolder to slide home.

Groningen should have had an equaliser on the half-hour but the Eagles were saved by goalkeeper Eloy Room and the woodwork. Nick van der Velden floated in a free-kick that the home side failed to clear and the ball fell to Krisztián Adorján (on-loan from Liverpool) to smash a half-volley towards goal but Room tipped the shot against the crossbar.

On the stroke of half-time, the visitors found their goal. Van der Velden racxed through on goal after evading the offside trap and layed the ball into the on rushing Tjaronn Chery to tap home.

Three minutes after the restart, Eagles went 2-1 in front from that man again, Marnix Kolder. A weak goal that the Groningen defence horribly defended, and as the ball came out to Kolder’s feet, he placed the ball home past a stagnant Marco Bizot.

It was 2-2 on 53 minutes, the orchastator for the goal was the brilliant Filip Kostic. Surging down the left wing, turning Eagles defender Mawouna Amevor with ease, Kostic spun a low cross over to Adorján to finish beautifully.

The away fans weren’t celebrating for long. Just before the hour mark, left-back Xandro Schenk got forward and grabbed his second goal of the season,after another pitiful display of defending by Erwin van de Looi’s team. Various shots came in and Groningen failed to clear their lines, before Schenk blasted home on 59 minutes,

Groningen, 3-2 down and the game looked over on 69 minutes when Adorján received his marching orders for an elbow on Sjoerd Overgoor. It got worse two minutes later when Timo Letschert received his second booking for a clumsy challenge on the edge of the box.

However, the points were shared in the closing stages of the match when substitute striker Genaro Zeefuik scored for the nine men to clinch a vital draw. The powerhouse caused problems throughout his time on the pitch, but he scrambled a ball in after a corner on 87 minutes. It looked liked handball but the goal was awarded.

20130825 - Graziano Pelle feyenoord 2

FEYENOORD 3-1 NAC BREDA

Italian striker Graziano Pelle scored an excellent hat-trick to lead Feyenoord to a 3-1 victory over NAC Breda, the Rotterdam team’s first points of the season.

Feyenoord were dominant and looked a very different side to that over the past three weeks and could have been two or three goals up int he opening ten minutes. It was a feisty contest and scrappy at times with Jordy Clasie and Rydell Poepon both booked for a pushing contest they participated in on 21 minutes.

Tackles continued to fly throughout but we the first goal finally came on 37 minutes and it was the beginning of a quickfire double by Pelle. Clasie swung a free-kick from the left into the area where Pelle rose above everyone to head home, 1-0.

The ever-loud De Kuip got even louder from the kick-off with Pelle finishing a lovely move by Clasie. Two goals up and the home side were cruising.

Another header gave Pelle his treble on 53 minutes. New signing Samuel Armenteros found space down the left to swing a ball towards the back post where Pelle was waiting to nod another into the goal.

NAC’s Joey Suk got a consolation goal six minutes later but it was not enough to change the result.

The pressure is off Ronald Koeman slightly as he heads into a must win game against Kuban Krasnodar in the Europa League on Thursday night.

Vitesse - FC Twente

VITESSE 1-0 FC TWENTE

Peter Bosz’ Vitesse finally got back to winning ways on Sunday with a 1-0 home win over FC Twente.

Tall Japanese striker Mike Havenaar scored the only goal of the game on 22 minutes with a powerful header from a Theo Janssen corner.

The home side were the stronger of the two throughout and should have been two goals ahead on 25 minutes but on-loan Chelsea playmaker Lucas Piazon placed hi shot against the foot of the post.

Twente had their chances too, but poor finishing let them down and they returned back to Enschede with nothing to show for their efforts.

FC Utrecht - AZ

FC UTRECHT 2-0 AZ ALKMAAR

Jan Wouters lives to fight another day as FC Utrecht won their first game of the season to end a bad run, courtesy of two goals from summer signing Steve de Ridder.

After a goal-less first-half, De Ridder, signed from Premier League club Southampton last month, got the opening goal on 54 minutes. Great link-up play between Tommy Oar and Dave Bulthuis down the right set-up the goal, with Bulthuis crossing for De Ridder to slide the ball home.

The lead was extended on 66 minutes with De Ridder’s second. Oar again involved powering through the middle to set De Ridder through on goal, where the former Southampton striker finished coolly.

AZ look jaded and poor over the 90 minutes which may be due their Thursday night Europa League win in Greece over Atromitos. The second leg is this Thursday in Alkmaar, where AZ are leading 3-1 on aggregate.

STANDINGS

20130825 - Eredivisie

WillBurns

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