Ajax blew the chance of a nine point lead at the top of the Eredivisie away to NAC Breda, as Twente and Feyenoord win to keep the pressure on Frank de Boer’s side.
Sunday 16th March
FC TWENTE 2-1 AZ ALKMAAR
FC Twente moved back into second after coming back from a goal down in a hard-fought late 2-1 victory at home to AZ Alkmaar.
The hosts started well especially young Mexican winger Jesús Manuel Corona who turned Swedish full-back Matías Johansson inside out creating chances but AZ goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado saved his team on many occasions. The 21-year-old known as ‘El Tecatito’ nearly opened the scoring himself on 22 minutes but his effort clipped the top of Esteban’s crossbar.
After absorbing all the Twente pressure it was the visitors that opened the scoring and took the lead on 40 minutes. Steven Berghuis smashed a free-kick on the edge of area through Twente’s wall, with a shot so powerful that goalkeeper Nick Marsman could only palm it into the net.
Quincy Promes set Dušan Tadić up with a great chance just inside the box before the half-time whistle but the Serbian midfielder unusually dragged his effort wide of the post.
Twente emerged after the break possessed with scoring the equaliser and but poor finishing and great AZ defending stopped them from getting the much wanted goal until twenty minutes before time.
Full-back Roberto Rosales chipped a ball through to the Tadić bearing down on goal and the Serb crossed a low cross into the area to find substitute Youness Mokhtar at the back post to tap home to level the scores.
Twente pushed forward for all three points but once again AZ got the number back and defended well until the last kick of the game. After Mokhtar had played in Dušan Tadić on the edge of the area, the midfielder had time to take a touch and lash a shot past Marsman in goal to send De Grolsche Veste into raptures and claim all three points.
Michael Jansen’s side have now cut the difference between themselves and leaders Ajax to seven points. Dick Advocaat will now have to take this defeat on the chin and motivate his players for their trip to Russia on Thursday night to defend a 1-0 lead away to Anzhi Makhachkala in the Europa League.
TWENTE: Marsman, Rosales, Bengtsson, Martina, Koppers, Ebecilio (Eghan 84), Tadić, Gutiérrez, Promes, Djordjevic (Børven 68), Corona (Mokhtar 45).
SUBS NOT USED: Stevens, Schilder, Brama, Roseler.
GOALS: Mokhtar 69, Tadić 90+3
BOOKINGS: Koppers 39, Rosales 61.
AZ: Esteban, Johansson, Viergever, Wuytens, Poulsen, Gudelj, Ortiz (Gorter 70), Elm (Henriksen 68), Berghuis, Jóhannsson (Gudmundsson 60), Beerens
SUBS NOT USED: De Winter, Reijnen, Hoedt, Avdic.
GOALS: Berghuis 40.
BOOKINGS: Poulsen 46, Wuytens 57.
PEC ZWOLLE 2-0 GO AHEAD EAGLES
The Ijsseldelta Stadion was the host of the Ijssel Derby today which saw PEC Zwolle defeat Go Ahead Eagles by two goals to take Ron Jans’s side remain in 8th place in the Eredivisie.
Go Ahead found it difficult as Zwolle look up for the derby and the hosts took the lead just before the half-time whistle was blown. Polish midfielder Mateusz Klich chipped the ball over the Eagles defence where Guyon Fernandez and Jesper Drost were bearing down on the ball and the latter nipped ahead of the former to give Zwolle the lead.
Just after the hour mark, Go Ahead were handed a lifeline as referee Serdar Gözübüyük pointed to the spot after Klich had challenged Jarchinio Antonio inside the penalty area. Eagles captain Jop van der Linden stepped up to take the spot-kick but his effort was easily saved by goalkeeper Diederik Boer.
With just seven minutes remaining, Go Ahead should have given another opportunity from the penalty spot after Maikel van der Werff had his hands around the waist of Marnix Kolder but Gözübüyük waived away the protests. When the video replays were shown, they proved that the visiting team had a point.
However, the visitors kept their head up and nearly equalised deep into stoppage time in unique fashion. We have all seen the goalkeeper come up for the last minute set-piece, but unbelievable Go Ahead’s Danish stopper Stephan Andersen attempted an over-head kick for Van der Linden’s free-kick. The effort hit his own player but was going wide of the post anyways.
Zwolle cemented the points in the third minute of injury time hitting Go Ahead on the counter and on-loan striker Guyon Fernandez notching the winner.
ZWOLLE: Boer, Van Polen, Van der Werff, Broerse (Lachman 77), Van Hintum, Mokotjo (Mahmudov 62), Klich, Hiwat (Narsingh 72), Drost, Thomas, Fernandez.
SUBS NOT USED: Begios, Saymak, Benson, Pereira.
GOALS: Drost 45, Fernandez 90+4.
GO AHEAD: Andersen, Schmidt, Vriends, Van der Linden, Schenk, Rijsdijk (Kolder 59), Overgoor, Türüç (Amevor 87), Antonia, Falkenburg, Houtkoop (Godee 77).
SUBS NOT USED: Ter Mate, Azevedo, Haps, Lambooij.
NEC NIJMEGEN 2-2 FC UTRECHT
Down in the bottom of the Eredivisie, in a result that helps neither side, NEC drew 2-2 with Utrecht which leaves the Nijmegen side still four points from safety.
After a poor display last week, NEC manager dropped first choice goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johansson for Dennis Gentenaar but unfortunately for Gentenaar he found himself beaten after 22 minutes. After Ryan Koolwijk had brought down Tommy Oar, the Australian whipped a free-kick into the penalty area and Dave Bulthuis nodded home to give the away side the advantage.
Just two minutes later, the scores were level with a carbon copy of Bulthuis’s goal. After Bulthuis had conceded a free-kick, the ball was planted in by Koolwijk and English striker Michael Higdon rose above everyone to header towards goal and his effort escaped the clutches of Utrecht keeper Robin Ruiter. This was the Liverpool-born striker’s 12th goal of the season.
The game continued at a fast tempo and just before half-time, Utrecht regained the lead through Jens Toornstra in a strange goal. Hitting NEC on the break, the ball came out to Toornstra on the right-wing, he placed a weak low cross in and striker Steve de Ridder dummied the ball that missed everyone and nestled into the goal.
The hosts grabbed a point on the hour mark as Rens van Eijden crossed the ball back from the right by-line to Jakob Jantscher, with the 25-year-old winger finishing to score his first goal of the season.
NEC stay in 17th on 26 points with Utrecht four points ahead of them in 14th with both in danger of being relegated to the Eerste Divisie.
NEC: Gentenaar, Vermijl, Van Eijden, Nielsen, Leiwakabessy (Gravenberch 74), Koolwijk, Foor (Štefánik 61), Conboy, Hemlein, Higdon, Jantscher (Jahanbakhsh 86).
SUBS NOT USED: Johnsson, Haitz, Disveld, Castillion.
GOALS: Higdon 24, Jantscher 60.
BOOKINGS: Štefánik 79.
UTRECHT: Ruiter, Van der Maarel, Delpierre, Heerings, Bulthuis, Van der Gun, Mårtensson, Toornstra, Oar, De Ridder, Agudelo.
SUBS NOT USED: Verhoeven, Markiet, Ayoub, Sarota, Dorda, Quesada, Van Velzen.
GOALS: Bulthuis 22, Toornstra 45.
BOOKINGS: Van der Maarel 37, De Ridder 76, Agudelo 90+1.
FEYENOORD 2-0 HEERENVEEN
Marco van Basten was left fuming by referee Pieter Vink at De Kuip this past afternoon, obviously frustrated by his side’s 2-0 defeat to Feyenoord.
Vink sent off Heerenveen’s Christian Kum after the defender brought down Tonny Vilhena in the penalty area. Van Basten vented his frustration stating that the penalty and a yellow card would have been sufficient punishment for the defender. The Heerenveen manager proclaimed it was ‘f*cking bullsh*t’ to the Fox Sports cameras.
Of course before this moment, he had saw his side go two goals down to Feyenoord. After a scrappy opening half-hour and quite quiet at times, the visiting goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt was called into action for the first time on 33 minutes. Ruud Vormer whipped in a great ball from a corner that met the head of Stefan de Vrij, but the Swedish ‘keeper palm the ball away. The rebound fell for Joris Mathijsen but the defender failed to connect properly and the Swede gave his side again to send the teams in goal-less.
Just after the interval, Ruud Vormer opened the scoring with an excellent free-kick on the edge of the box. Stefano Marzo, who was already booked, brought down Terence Kongolo and Vormer stepped up to plant the ball home, leaving the obviously unsighted Nordfeldt completely stuck on his line to give Feyenoord the lead.
Five minutes later, Vormer had another chance to score a free-kick from the other side of the area but Nordfeldt was pleased to see this effort centimetres wide of the other side of the post.
On 64 minutes, the lead was doubled by Lex Immers. After a great long ball from new Feyenoord captain Jordy Clasie, it was collected by winger Jean-Paul Boetuis, he spotted the run of Immers in the area and pulled the ball back for the midfielder to side-foot home first time.
On 73 minutes, came the red card to Christian Kum. Immers and Daryl Janmaat and built the move up well down the right wing and the latter laid the ball into the area to Vilhena to spin in the box and put himself through on goal. Kum stuck out a leg and referee Pieter Vink awarded the spot-kick and gave the defender his marching orders. Vilhena stepped up but goalkeeper Nordfeldt guessed the right way and palm the ball away.
The Swedish goalkeeper kept the score down in stoppage time, denying a great effort from outside the area from substitute John Goossens.
The win means that Koeman’s side are now fourth and eight points behind leaders Ajax while Van Basten’s men stay in sixth on 43 points.
FEYENOORD: Mulder, Janmaat, De Vrij, Mathijsen, Kongolo, Clasie, Immers, Vormer (Vilhena 69), Schaken (Armenteros 78), Te Vrede, Boëtius (Goossens 85).
SUBS NOT USED: Lamprou, Van Beek, Martins Indi, Verhoek.
GOALS: Vormer 49, Immers 64.
HEERENVEEN: Nordfeldt, Marzo (Otigba 76), Kum, Kruiswijk, Van Anholt, Ziyech, De Roon, Van der Bergh, Van la Parra (Slagveer 64), Finnbogason, Basacikoglu (Sinkgraven 82).
SUBS NOT USED: Vandenbussche, De Kamps, Fazli, Van Aken.
BOOKINGS: Marzo 28, Ziyech 34, Van Anholt 53, De Roon 56.
SENT OFF: Kum 73.
NAC BREDA 0-0 AJAX
Ajax dropped yet another two points in the title race as NAC Breda held the defending champions to a 0-0 draw in the final game of the weekend.
Frank de Boer’s men were once again disappointing and uninspiring and after just six minutes, the Ajax coach probably knew it was going to be their day when they lost captain Siem de Jong to injury. The attacking midfielder tweaked his hamstring while trailing a loose ball in the NAC box and had to be substituted by Kolbeinn Sigthórsson.
Although Ajax dominated the possession they lacked the creativity to unlock the NAC defence to create any clear cut chances and the hosts should have took the lead just after half an hour through Belgian defender Sepp de Roover. NAC pressed forward down the right wing and the Belgian cut inside and lobbed the ball over the challenge of Niclas Moisander and smashed a half volley into Jasper Cillessen’s path. Unfortunately, for the Belgian and the majority of the 18,500 inside the Rat Verlegh Stadion, the Ajax keeper parried and the defender hit the rebound into Cillessen’s legs. A major let off for the Amsterdammers.
Just before half-time, Thulani Serero created a nearly finished an excellent move that was denied by Jelle ten Rouwelaar, and the rebound fell into the path of Sigthórsson, however, De Roover was present to clear off the line.
Ajax pressed for the goal but never really bothered Ten Rouwelaar and the league leaders had to settle for a share of the points.
NAC Breda jumped into 11th place but are still just six points clear of the relegation places. For Frank de Boer and his team, they sit seven points ahead of their closest rivals. However, they are hardly playing like champions and performances will have to improve, or the chasing pack may inch closer than the Amsterdammers would like.
NAC: Ten Rouwelaar, De Roover, Drost, Kwakman, Hooi (Perica 88), Matic, Poepon, Verbeek (Sarpong 65), Swerts, Buijs, Bodor.
SUBS NOT USED: Babos, Suk, El Allouchi, Seuntjens, Van der Weg.
BOOKINGS: Kwakman 57, Hooi 64, Swerts 71.
AJAX: Cillessen, Van Rhijn, Veltman, Moisander, Blind, Klaassen, Poulsen (Bojan 77), Serero, Schöne, De Jong (Sigthórsson 8), Kishna (De Sa 61).
SUBS NOT USED: Vermeer, Duarte, Denswil, Riedewald.
BOOKINGS: Serero 45, Veltman 60.
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