Ajax pulled four points clear of second-placed FC Twente thanks to a Lasse Schöne hat-trick in the 3-0 win over Heerenveen. Down at the bottom, Cambuur gained a vital 3-1 over Zwolle as title-chasing Feyenoord were held to a draw away to NAC Breda.
Sunday 16th February 2014
SC CAMBUUR 3-1 PEC ZWOLLE
Some atrocious defending from Ron Jans’ PEC Zwolle cost them as Cambuur clinched yet another win at home to lift them out of the bottom three.
It was an excellent first half for Dwight Lodeweges’s side who found themselves two goals to the good at the break. The first came after just nine minutes with Austrian midfielder Marcel Ritzmaier scoring with an excellent chip. Mohamed El Makrini picked up the ball in midfield and spotted Ritzmaier running down the left wing. The midfielder, on-loan from PSV, received the pass and skipped past Giovanni Gravenbeek to run through on goal. Zwolle goalkeeper Diederik Boer rushed out to close Ritzmaier down, but the Austrian delicately lobbed the ball into the empty net. The Cambuur Stadion erupted in delight as Ritzmaier celebrated with teammates at the corner flag.
Zwolle could not find their rhythm against the relentless and resilient hosts and five minutes before half-time the lead was doubled. Again, the defending from the visitors was awful. Jody Lukoki had plenty time to float in a cross from the right-wing with Martijn Barto and Elvis Manu queuing in the box to attack. Unmarked Manu failed to get his shot off and as Zwolle’s Bram van Polen and Joost Broerse unsuccessfully cleared the ball, Barto finished with ease. Jans was not happy on the bench obviously getting psyched up for his team-talk at the interval.
It could have been worse for the visitors a few minutes before the break after a good Cambuur counter attack. However, Ritzmaier lacked composure this time round and blasted his effort over the crossbar when he was one-on-one with Boer.
Unfortunately for Zwolle’s travelling fans, the trip did not get any better in the second half. Six minutes in, Broerse’s nightmare continued only half clearing a corner with a weak header and the ball landed to the feet of Barto again. The striker, who was told by Lodeweges he was surplus to requirements in January, did not hesitate and hit a first time volley past Boer to make it three and will not two easier goals in the Eredivisie.
There was time for the away side to get a consolation goal with Polish midfielder Mateusz Klich notching on the edge of the box on 78 minutes.
Once again, Cambuur proved they can hold their own in this league and with such an encouraging performance one has to think they should add more pressure to Jon Dahl Tomasson next Saturday. The Dane brings his Roda side to the Cambuurstadion in a vital relegation battle, as today’s victors, Cambuur will look for victory again to retain their status in the Eredivisie.
CAMBUUR: Nienhuis, Leeuwin, Van der Laan, Droste, El Makrini, Bakker (Van Moorsel 83), Ritzmaier, Bijker, Barto (Christovao 90+3), Lukoki (Schepers 73), Manu.
SUBS NOT USED: Zeinstra, Van Boxel, Pereira, Dijkstra.
GOALS: Ritzmaier 9, Barto 40, 51.
BOOKINGS: Lukoki 66, El Makrini 70.
ZWOLLE: Boer, Van Polen, Broerse (Pereira 73), Van Hintum, Klich, Gravenbeek (Van der Werff 45), Karagounis, Saymak, Thomas, Fernandez (Mahmudov 46), Drost.
SUBS NOT USED: Begois, Nijland, Hiwat, Patricio.
GOALS: Klich 78.
BOOKINGS: Broerse 10, Van Polen 66, Karagounis 70.
NAC BREDA 1-1 FEYENOORD
After missing various chances in front of goal, Feyenoord lost some ground in the title race after being held 1-1 at NAC Breda.
After an impressive start, Ronald Koeman’s men took the lead with a well taken goal from right-back Daryl Janmaat on 25 minutes. The Dutch international received the ball on the right-wing and looked to have played the ball on the edge of the box to Lex Immers. Immers dodged the ball as Janmaat continued his run into the area; Graziano Pellè collected the ball and laid it into the path of the full-back who finished beautifully with his left boot.
Just before the break, against the run of play, NAC drew level with a spot-kick. After Anouar Hadouir had smashed a shot against the bar, Feyenoord defender Miquel Nelom handballed Danny Verbeek’s rebound shot and referee Bas Nijhuis pointed to the spot. Rydell Poepon sent Erwin Mulder the wrong way with the resulting penalty.
As the game went on NAC goalkeeper Jelle ten Rouwelaar became the man of the match saving everything Feyenoord could throw at him. The keeper saved a great unexpected point for his side which they were lucky to hold on to especially when substitute Stipe Perica was sent off for a challenge on Janmaat late on.
Feyenoord stay in third but are now seven points off leaders Ajax while Breda are 10th six points clear of the relegation battle.
NAC: Ten Rouwelaar, De Roover, Drost, Buijs, Van der Weg, Gilissen, Matic, Hadouir (Perica 81), Sarpong (Kwakman 86), Poepon, Verbeek (Tighadouini 71).
SUBS NOT USED: Babos, Suk, Swerts, Bodor.
GOALS: Poepon 37P.
BOOKINGS: Matic 40.
SENT OFF: Perica 84.
FEYENOORD: Mulder, Janmaat, De Vrij, Kongolo, Nelom (Te Vrede 85), Clasie, Immers, Vilhena, Armenteros (Schaken 67), Pellè, Boëtius (Goossens 82).
SUBS NOT USED: Graafland, Mathijsen, Bakkal, Van Beek.
GOALS: Janmaat 25.
BOOKINGS: Nelom 36, Immers 62, Vilhena 88, Pellè 90+5.
FC GRONINGEN 1-0 GO AHEAD EAGLES
Groningen finally clinched their first win of 2014 with a narrow 1-0 win over Go Ahead Eagles.
The hosts gained the win by a Tjarron Chery goal surrounded in controversy after just three minutes. From the edge of the area, Chery fired into the bottom corner that gave Eagles keeper Stephan Andersen had no chance of saving. Video replays showed that due to disgraceful state of the penalty area, the ball took a wicked bounce over the goalie’s palm when it looked like the Danish keeper had it covered.
Eagles pressed for an equaliser with Denis Türüç being the main oracherstrator for any Go Ahead chance by Marco Bizot had a good day in goal and kept a clean sheet and all three points for his side.
GRONINGEN: Bizot, Hateboer, Botteghin, Kappelhof, Burnet, Kieftenbeld (Lindgren 83), Adorjan (Zeefuik 62), Van Nieff, Chery, De Leeuw, Kostic.
SUBS NOT USED: Van der Lei, Hiarlej, Wijnaldum, Kirm, Zivkovic.
GOALS: Chery 3.
BOOKINGS: Kieftenbeld 73.
GO AHEAD: Andersen, Vriends, Van der Linden, Schenk (Haps 72), Overgoor (Rijsdijk 77), Türüç, Kolder, Houtkoop (Antonia 62), Schmidt, Falkenburg, Godée.
SUBS NOT USED: Ter Mate, Amevor, Azevedo, Lambooij
BOOKINGS: Schmidt 26, Overgoor 50.
AJAX 3-0 HEERENVEEN
Danish midfielder Lasse Schöne notched a hat-trick as Ajax saw off Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen to go four points clear at the top of Eredivisie. It was quite fitting that fellow Dane Christian Eriksen had returned to the Amsterdam ArenA with a hero’s welcome.
The Tottenham Hotspur star was given a standing ovation before the game by the Amsterdam fans, as Frank de Boer also said a few kind words about the player. Eriksen was not the only visitor on Sunday, as UEFA president Michel Platini was on hand to present Johan Cruyff with an award.
The hosts exploded out of the blocks and should have been ahead within just two minutes of play. A Schöne corner was fed to Niclas Moisander at the back post but the defender hit his shot against the post and out.
The defending champions thought they were 1-0 up on 6 minutes when Viktor Fischer finished a nice move by Schone but the young Dane was wrongly adjudged to being offside.
Ajax finally got ahead on 12 minutes when Joey van den Berg brought down Siem de Jong in the area and Lasse Schöne stepped up to score his first of three.
The Dane got his second penalty just four minutes later when referee Pol van Boekel penalised Stefano Marzo for a handball in the area. Schöne converted the spot-kick even though Heerenveen goalie Kristoffer Nordfeldt got a hand on it.
Ajax were very impressive and dominated throughout, so much so that Van Basten’s men failed to register a single shot on target within the 90 minutes.
The score was wrapped up with another Schöne with just eight minutes remaining, with fellow Dane Fischer stepping the hat-trick hero up.
This was a much improved performance from De Boer’s side and a performance fitting of defending champions. With Ajax being now four points clear and with no other side with games in hand, it’s looking more and more likely that De Boer will have his hands on a fourth consecutive Eredivisie championship.
AJAX: Cillessen, Van Rhijn, Veltman, Moisander, Boilesen (Poulsen 46), Klaassen, Blind, Serero (Duarte 58), Schöne, De Jong (Sigthórsson 72), Fischer.
SUBS NOT USED: Vermeer, Van der Hoorn,Bojan, De Sa.
GOALS: Schone 12P, 18P, 82.
BOOKINGS: Serero 21, Van Rhijn 48.
HEERENVEEN: Nordfeldt, Marzo, Kum, Van den Berg (Van Aken 85), Van Anholt (Dijks 71), De Roon, De Kamps, Ziyech, Van La Parra (Lurling 67), Finnbogason, Basacikoglu.
SUBS NOT USED: Vandenbussche, Fazli, Sinkgraven, Warmolts.
BOOKINGS: Van der Berg 12, De Roon 20, Ziyech 34, Van Aken 86.
League table courtesy of FIFA.com
Click the name above to follow Will on Twitter.