NETHERLANDS: Eredivisie Review – Week 6


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WEEK 6 – 14th & 15th September 2013

The Eredivisie returns after the international break and PEC Zwolle stay top even though they tasted their first defeat away to Ajax, as PSV stay second with a 2-2 draw at Twente.

20130915 - Mustafa Saymak PEC Zwolle


Ajax head coach Frank de Boer admitted that he was lucky to see his side come out of Saturday’s evening game with PEC Zwolle with all three points as he watched his side scored two very lucky goals.

De Boer played with a young eleven after the sales of Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld before the transfer deadline. A new look strikeforce of Viktor Fischer, Danny Hoesen and Tobias Sana was the three-pronged attack with Siem de Jong and Kolbeinn Sigthórsson sitting on the bench, to be used if needed.

Ajax started the brighter and could have been ahead after 12 minutes if it weren’t for a superb point blank save by Kevin Begois in the visiting goal. Zwolle failed to clear a corner and new boy Lerin Duarte, recent signing from Heracles, whipped the ball in to meet the head of defender Stefano Denswil at the back post. Unfortunately for the defender, he placed his header into the hands of Begois who palmed the ball away.

It was visitors who created the next best chance on 36 minutes, and should have been ahead except for an offside decision that the TV replays proved to be incorrect. A Stef Nijland shot stung the hands of Kenneth Vermeer, and Mustafa Saymak rushed in and placed the rebound home, but the linesman had his flag up but the replays showed he was online with last defender.

De Boer and Ron Jans’ saw their teams head in at 0-0, however, three minutes before the whistle Zwolle should have had a penalty. Ricardo van Rhijn, who was given a torrid time by PEC striker Fred Benson, was caught on the camera pulling the Benson’s shirt inside the box. Benson stayed on his feet until the ball was cleared and fell down at the wrong moment, and referee Reinold Wiedemeijer waved away any appeals.

The game was hardly a classic and De Boer made a double substitution just after the hour mark. The returning Siem de Jong, previously out with a collapsed lung, arrived along with the on-loan Bojan replacing the uneventful pairing of Fischer and Hoesen.

Ten minutes later, we finally saw our first goal from South African international Thulani Serero. Fellow compatriot Kamohelo Mokotjo tried to clear the ball out the box but it fell to Serero. The young midfielder smashed a shot goalwards and Mokotjo was blocking the path of goalkeeper Begois and deflected the ball into the net. The Belgian keeper was not happy but it was an unfortunate goal.

On 76 minutes, Ajax doubled the lead in the same lucky fashion. A poor clearance from Begois fed the ball into the feet of Icelandic substitute Sigthórsson whom fired his shot against the foot of the post. The ball flicked up and hit Zwolle defender Maikel van der Werff into the chest which spiralled the rebound into the goal past the helpless Begois. On the sideline, De Boer shook his head instead of celebrating.

Earlier, Zwolle striker Guyon Fernandez arrived replacing Fred Benson and he nearly grabbed a goal back with six minutes to go. A great run allowed the on-loan striker to skip past Vermeer with ease, but his shot from wide was headed off the line by Denswil.

Zwolle got their consolation from a wonderful striker from yet another substitute Giovanni Gravenbeek. The ball fell to the Suriname-born defender on 89 minutes, just outside the box and Gravenbeek hit an outstanding right foot curler into the net smashing down from the underside of the bar.

The hosts anxiously held on for the final moments to dish out a first season defeat for Jans’ Zwolle side, before heading on a flight to Spain for Wednesday’s opening Champions League Group H game with Barcelona. On this performance, Lionel Messi and Neymar should not be troubled by the Dutch champions.

SC Cambuur - Heracles Almelo


Cambuur’s impressive start to the campaign continues with a 2-0 victory over the poor Heracles Almelo.

After holding PSV to a 0-0 draw in the Philips Stadion before the break for internationals, the Eredivisie new boys started the game confidently but had to wait until 42 minutes to score their opening goal.  A cross from Oebele Schokker found the head of Michiel Hemmen before Heracles goalkeeper Remko Pasveer could get his punch to it.

Cambuur secured the win with just two minutes remanining when a Marcel Ritzmaier cross, on-loan from PSV, took a deflection off Jason Davidson, which looped over Pasveer to make it 2-0 late on.

Cambuur are now into the top half of the league, while Heracles lose their third game out of the six and sit 12th but after losing Lerin Duarte to Ajax in the window, this season could be a struggle for them. They will look to new signing Iliass Bel Hassani from Sparta Rotterdam to help them create and score the goals, but it is a big ask for the 20-year-old attacking midfielder.

Blom gelast ADO Den Haag - Vitesse af


A waterlogged pitch saw the postponement of Vitesse’s trip to Den Haag on Saturday evening, the game is yet to be rescheduled.

FC Twente - PSV


Philip Cocu’s PSV stay second in the league table after a 2-2 draw at FC Twente in Saturday’s late game.

The Eindhoven side nearly inadvertently took the lead early on after six minutes when a Joshua Brenet cross was headed off his own crossbar by Danish defender Andreas Bjelland.

Although, Twente looked the more dangerous of the two sides in the opening moments and took the lead on 17 minutes. Nineteen-year-old Shadrach Eghan layed the ball off on the right wing to Luc Castaignos and continued his run into the box. His marker, Stijn Schaars, left the Ghanaian midfielder unmarked and the youngster turned Jeffrey Bruma and fired past Jeroen Zoet.

The hosts could have been further ahead straight off the restart, when some shaky defending allowed Castaignos to fire a shot at Zoet. It was a firm stop by the young ‘keeper. On the half-hour, Zoet was tested again by a Dusan Tadic free-kick but held firm.

The visitors held the greater possession after the goal but and could not create any clear cut opportunities. On 32 minutes, Ji-Sung Park played Georginio Wijnaldum into the box but the midfielder’s shot was straight at Nick Marsman in the Twente goal.

After the break, PSV stepped up their game up, and moments after Memphis Depay had been denied a penalty and stung Marsman’s hands with a vicious shot from the left, he created the equaliser.

Depay surged down the left and swung in a beautiful cross into the back post where Wijnaldum was able to nod home unmarked from close range.

Head coach Philip Cocu introduced Zakaria Bakkali and Ola Toivonen off the bench on 66 minutes replacing Park and Adam Maher and straight away PSV should have took the lead. After a marauding run by Bakkali the ball fell perfectly at Wijnaldum’s feet in the box but he blazed the shot over the bar. It was a poor miss which PSV were made to pay for minutes later.

Tadic twisted Brenet inside out on the left wing and crossed deep for Castaignos to cushion a header into Quincy Promes, who volleyed his side into the lead from a few yards out.

PSV levelled with just seven minutes remaining with Memphis Depay cutting in from the left before firing a shot off defender Roberto Rosales which deflected past Marsman.

The game finished 2-2 and Castaignos and Schaars were involved in a shoving match after the final whistle. The big Twente striker had to be restrained by players from both sides and may be trouble from the KNVB after an investigation.

This is now PSV’s third league draw in succession and they will now entertain Bulgarian side Ludogorets on Thursday in their opening Europa League Group B game.

NEC - Feyenoord


A late Feyenoord equaliser from defender Bruno Martins Indi deprived NEC Nijmegen of their first win of the season, which saw Ronald Koeman’s side flee with a 3-3 draw.

The hosts nearly broke the deadlock but English striker Michael Higdon, still trying to find his feet in the Eredivisie, could not defeat Feyenoord goalkeeper Erwin Mulder in a one-on-one challenge.

The scoring began in the 26th minute as Lex Immers as he headed home a Ruben Schaken cross, however, it was 1-1 five minutes later.

Slovakian midfielder Samuel Štefánik, a new signing from Slovak side FK AS Trenčín on deadline day, caused Koeman’s defence lots of problems all afternoon and grabbed the equaliser. After Mulder parried the Slovak’s initial shot, but after the Feyenoord failed to clear the rebound, Štefánik poked the ball home.

The teams went into the break tied at a goal a piece but Feyenoord emerged the side looking more likely to go on to win the game. The game could have been dead and buried if the usually prolific Graziano Pellè had not crashed two shots off the woodwork early in the second period.

Feyenoord did go 2-1 up on the hour mark, young winger Jean-Paul Boëtius, playing his first game since March, scored after Immers played him through on goal, but that lead only lasted two minutes this time.

Once again it was some shocking defending from the Rotterdam side, as Mulder flapped at a Kevin Conboy free-kick and Feyenoord failed to clear as Icelandic midfielder Victor Palsson was free to tap in the leveller.

On 77 minutes, NEC took a shock lead, with Štefánik scoring his second goal of the game. A surging run forward by Søren Rieks, found Conboy down the left and he crossed for the Slovak midfielder to volley home with a powerful drive. A great debut for the 21-year-old Slovak.

For the remainder of the game, the Nijmegen side had to deal with a Feyenoord barrage but unfortunately for the home side Martins Indi was on hand to finally prod home a Boëtius cross in the final minute of the game.

Neither, Ronald Koeman or Anton Janssen, will be pleased with the point after leading the match.

AZ - Go Ahead Eagles


AZ clipped Go Ahead Eagles’ wings on Sunday afternoon with a 3-0 win at the AFAS Stadion to end a three-game winless streak in all competitions.

Aron Jóhannsson scored a 31st minute penalty to put Gertjan Verbeek’s side ahead. The goal ended a personal three-game drought for Jóhannsson.

Eagles held their own but strikers in stoppage-time from Viktor Elm and Steven Berghuis cemented the win for AZ.

SC Heerenveen - FC Groningen


Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen have climbed to third in the Eredivisie, thanks to a 4-2 win over Groningen, helped by two goals from Icelandic striker Alfred Finnbogason. It was a great game to watch at the Abe Lenstra Stadion, but marred by terrible refereeing decisions by Danny Makkelie.

The referee made his mark on 11 minutes, giving a straight red to Groningen’s Timo Letschert a wild challenge. The tackle was wild, but the defender never left his feet in a 50-50 challenge with Luciano Slagveer. Slagveer jumped over the tackle and flipped over but Makkelie instead of giving a yellow card gave Letschert a red, and the visitors were in a real battle to gain something out of the game.

Within twenty minutes, the game was levelled out with both teams ending up with just ten men a piece. Giliano Wijnaldum entered the box to challenge Heerenveen’s on-loan defender Mitchell Dijks to a ball from Tjaronn Chery’s cross. Dijks slipped as Wijnaldum advanced on goal, but the defender grabbed the Groningen mans legs and brought him down for a penalty. Dijks was sent off and Nick van der Velden cheekily chipped home the spot-kick. Makkelie got his decision right this time round.

In the second half, Heerenveen began to up their search for an equaliser and in the 52nd minute, Yanic Wildschut found it. Rajiv van la Parra was determined to swing the ball in from the left and once he had beat Wijnaldum and whipped the ball in, the green shirts failed to clear. The ball feel to Wildschut on the back post who blasted a volley off the underside of the bar and into the net.

Heerenveen went in for the kill and scored a second just three minutes later, as Hungarian defender Kenny Otigba powerfully headed in a Magnus Eikrem inswinging corner past goalkeeper Marco Bizot.

The home side were not in control for long as sixty seconds later, Johan Kappelhof grabbed an equaliser. It was a cleverly worked free-kick from the left wing, as Van der Velden fired a low ball to the back post where Kappelhof was arriving unmarked to fire home via a deflection off Otigba’s boot.

After Bizot brought down Van la Parra in the area on 72 minutes, Finnbogason stepped up, converted the spot-kick and inside the final minute, Finnbogason put the icing on the cake and made sure of all three points. This takes his personal tally to eight in five games. An amazing feat this early in the season and no wonder he is wanted by some of Europe’s top clubs. Heerenveen will face a struggle to keep the Icelander at the club this coming winter.

The referee cards were not finished after 79 minutes he gave Chery his marching orders for a slight tussle in the box with Marten de Roon. It was a second yellow card for the Groningen winger but it was pure handbags by himself and De Roon, and the Heerenveen midfielder was not shown a card for his efforts in the battle.

Groningen’s head coach Erwin van de Looi had stated he will complain to the KNVB about the decisions that Makkelie made and will be appealing Letschert’s red card.

Roda JC Kerkrade - NAC Breda


In a shock win, NAC Breda thumped five past Roda JC to grab their first victory of the season.

Roda dominated the first period and actually took the lead just before the half-time whistle, when Mitchell Donald nodded in an excellent Mark Hocher ball from the right. However, the sides went into the interval level as Kees Kwakman headed home a Jordy Buijs free-kick.

The team talk Nebojša Gudelj must have gave his side worked as they arrived back onto the pitch and scored four goals in 25 minutes.

On 67 minutes, substitute Elson Hay poked home at the back post from a Mats Seuntjens sliding ball from the right byline. It was 3-1 just minutes later, as Seuntjes nipped in and stole the ball from Donald. The striker found himself through on goal and coolly finished past goalkeeper Filip Kurto.

Just a minute later, Roda’s day was over as they were reduced to ten men when Frank Demouge was dismissed for a high boot on Buijs. Yet another harsh sending off in the Eredivisie today.

With four minutes remaining, the Roda goal was breached again with Croatian Stipe Perica, on-loan from Chelsea making it four.

As the stadium emptied, Jeffrey Sarpong made it five, two minutes later.

FC Utrecht - RKC Waalwijk


In the final game of the weekend, FC Utrecht got back to winning ways with a narrow 2-1 over RKC Waalwijk.

Steve de Ridder, a recent signing from Southampton, scored two first goals before a Remy Amieux free-kick gave RKC a second-half consolation.


20130915 - Eredivisie


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