Vitesse suffered a shock defeat away at FC Groningen, NEC Nijmegen performed a two-goal comeback to grab a much needed point at Heerenveen as PSV climb into second place with their eighth win in a row over Roda JC.
Saturday 22nd March 2014
FC GRONINGEN 3-1 VITESSE
Vitesse’s hopes of Champions League football suffered a massive blow on Saturday evening after FC Groningen won comfortably 3-1.
Peter Bosz lead his men to Groningen in hope of keeping the pressure on table-toppers Ajax but they fell behind after just ten minutes when the Amsterdammers’ new signing Richairo Zivkovic took advantage of some lapse defending by Guram Kashia. After the Georgian defender mis-kicked a clearance, the 17-year-old forward sped towards goal with the ball. Confidently the youngster skipped past Piet Velthuizen in goal to finish in the empty net. This was Velthuizen’s 200th appearance for Vitesse, but it was to be memorable for all the wrong reasons.
The visitors got back into the game and levelled the game up just before the interval thanks to great vision by Guram Kashia, making amends for the opening goal. Christian Atsu, one of the four players on-loan from Chelsea, showed great composure to chip Marco Bizot after a beautiful lofted ball from the back from Kashia.
After a quiet opening to the second half, the hosts regained the lead in the 56th minute with Nick van der Velden scoring his fourth of the season. Vitesse failed to put a defender on the back post for a Tjaronn Chery corner and Van der Velden took full advantage to side foot an effort home off the inside of the post.
The result was done and dusted just after the hour mark with Tjarron Chery hitting a great left footed low drive from the edge of the areas after Kelvin Leerdam had failed to halt the midfielder’s attempt.
Groningen stay in ninth as Vitesse drop to fourth place, now seven points adrift of leaders Ajax, with the league leaders having a game in hand. The slim hope of their first ever Eredivisie championship has surely now slipped past Vitesse.
GRONINGEN: Bizot, Hateboer, Botteghin, Kappelhof, Burnet, Lindgren, Kieftenbeld, Chery, Van der Velden (Kirm 72), Zivkovic (Zeefuik 86), Kostic (Hagenauw 90+1).
SUBS NOT USED: Van der Lei, Adorjan, Wijnaldum, Cijntje.
GOALS: Zivkovic 10, Van der Velden 56, Chery 63.
BOOKINGS: Van der Velden 70.
VITESSE: Velthuizen, Van Der Struijk (Leerdam 31), Kashia, Vejinovic, Achenteh, Pröpper, Qazaishvili, Atsu, Labyad (Traoré 72), Havenaar (Djurdjevic 72), Piazón.
SUBS NOT USED: Room, Mori, Van Aanholt, Bosz.
GOALS: Atsu 39.
BOOKINGS: Kashia 42, Leerdam 59.
HEERENVEEN 2-2 NEC NIJMEGEN
NEC Nijmegen handed themselves a lifeline in the relegation battle, clawing back from two goals down to Heerenveen to claim a point with only ten men.
Anton Janssen’s NEC, desperate for a good result to help ease their relegation worries, started the better team but against the run of play it was the free scoring Heerenveen that grabbed the lead on 40 minutes. It was a tremendous solo effort from Bilal Basacikoglu as he ghosted through the Nijmegen midfield and defence before firing a low drive past Dennis Gentenaar.
The lead was doubled in first half stoppage time after the tricky Rajiv van la Parra weaved his way in the area and was brought down by Rens van Eijden. Referee Tom van Sichem pointed to the spot and Alfred Finnbogason netted his ninth penalty of the season to take his goals tally up to 24 in 26 games. The goal meant the Iceland international has now overtaken Gerald Sibon to become Heerenveen’s all time leading scorer in the Eredivisie with 48 goals.
NEC were given a lifeline when the in-form striker Michael Higdon netted his 13th of the season with just twelve minutes of time remaining. After Iranian forward Alireza Jahanbakhsh flicked on a Marnick Vermijl cross for the Englishman to take down, control, spin his marker and fire home. The Liverpool-born striker is in real form with the goal being his seventh goal in the last ten outings.
The goal gave Anton Janssen’s men a glimmer of hope of snatching a point but minutes later their chances became greater as Rens van Eijden was given his second yellow for a handball outside the area. However, Heerenveen did not make NEC play and a minute into stoppage time, the relegation battlers stole a point.
After a scramble from a free-kick that Heerenveen failed to clear, Danish midfielder Søren Rieks was in the right place at the right time to fire past Kristoffer Nordfeldt.
Although, NEC remained second bottom, this was a great point to hold the Heerenveen who stay in sixth place.
HEERENVEEN: Nordfeldt, Marzo, Otigba, Kruiswijk, Raitala, De Roon, Ziyech, Van den Berg, Van La Parra (Sinkgraven 62), Finnbogason, Basacikoglu (Slagveer 86).
SUBS NOT USED: Vandenbussche, De Kamps, Fazli, Warmolts, Van Aken.
GOALS: Basacikoglu 40, Finnbogason 45+1P.
BOOKINGS: De Roon 43.
NEC: Gentenaar, Vermijl, Van Eijden, Nielsen, Leiwakabessy, Koolwijk, Rieks, Conboy, Hemlein (Gravenberch 45), Higdon, Jantscher (Jahanbakhsh 45).
SUBS NOT USED: Johnsson, Foor, Disverld, Štefánik, Castillon.
GOALS: Higdon 78, Rieks 90+1.
BOOKINGS: Van Eijden 45, Leiwakabessy 84.
SENT OFF: Van Eijden 87.
PSV 3-1 RODA JC
Philip Cocu’s PSV defeated the struggling Roda JC by three goals to one to notch their eighth consecutive win to fir them into second spot and just six points behind leaders Ajax.
Before Christmas, no-one would have predicted that PSV would be only six points adrift from Ajax but Philip Cocu’s men are now the in-form side in the Eredivisie racking up eight wins in a row is no easy feat.
Roda make PSV work for the win but unfortunately the class shone through and Jürgen Locadia got the hosts underway on 14 minutes. Santiago Arias and Ji-Sung Park combined to play the young striker through on goal to coolly finish past Filip Kurto.
Roda grabbed an unlikely equaliser before the interval through Mitchell Paulissen. The PSV defenders failed to clear a cross and Paulissen turned up on the left side of the area to side-foot past Jeroen Zoet.
Memphis Depay, wearing a protective mask due to suffering a bruised eye socket last weekend, was a threat throughout and on 63 minutes he provided some magic to help his side regain the advantage. Henk Dijkhuizen had a torrid evening trying to keep the masked man’s skills at bay, but after skipping past the defender with ease, Depay fired a shot which was saved by the legs of Kurto. The rebound fell to Locadia and after his shot was blocked, Bryan Ruiz was on hand to tap home for his fourth goal in eight games.
With quarter of an hour to go, Jeffrey Bruma nodded home a Ruiz corner to seal the win. PSV are now up to second place, and look to Champions League qualification although rivals for that positions, Twente and Feyenoord have a game in hand.
PSV: Zoet, Brenet, Rekik, Bruma, Arias, Schaars (Maher 69), Hiljemark, Park, Depay (Narsingh 89), Locadia, Ruiz.
SUBS NOT USED: Tyton, Zanka Jørgensen, Jozefzoon, Bakkali, Hendrix.
GOALS: Locadia 14, Ruiz 63, Bruma 75.
BOOKINGS: Locadia 60.
RODA: Kurto, Dijkhuizen, Luijckx, Ramos, Van Peppen, Fledderus, Kali (Bonevacia 81), Djoum, Hupperts (Höcher 79), Donald, Paulissen (Demouge 76).
SUBS NOT USED: Prus, De Beule, Monteyne, Shkurtaj.
GOALS: Paulissen 41.
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