WEEK 3 – Sunday 18th August 2013
Frank de Boer’s Ajax defeated Rotterdam-based rival Feyenoord in Sunday afternoon’s De Klassieker, Heracles shock Heerenveen and ADO steal a late win at NAC Breda. However, the day ended with a horror show for FC Utrecht being hit for six by FC Twente.
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.
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 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 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.
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