Eerste Divisie Week 1 Round-up

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FRIDAY 8TH AUGUST

Twelve teams began their new campaign on the Friday evening, when all matches that evening kicked off at 7.00pm (BST), as the referees blew their whistles around the grounds to signal the start of the match and the start of the 2014/15 season. 

Almere City faced MVV Maastricht at the Mitsubishi Forklift Stadium in Almere. It didn’t take long for the host to take the lead, in fact only twelve minutes into the match and Almere had scored their opening goal of the season, which was scored by Vincent Jansen. After a brilliant start to the game Almere found them self’s going into the dressing room at halftime with a two goal lead, as the number 9 Fabian Serrarens had netted the second goal of the game for the home side in the thirty-ninth minute. The teams returned from the halftime break and things didn’t get any better for Lei Bovens Maastricht side, his team conceded twice more in the fifty-first and fifty-sixth minute, this time Norair Mamedov had put himself on the score sheet and Serrarens had his second of the night. Almere continued to dominate the match and it was all credit to their control of the game in midfield thanks to outstanding performance from Jergie Hoefdraad. The substitute Enzio Boldewijn finished off the match in style as he sent his team into a 4-0 lead and wrapping up the win for the side which was never in doubt. Roy Gebbink can be proud of his side from their first week’s performance, it’s a very positive start to the season from the Almere team, and sadly the same can’t be said about Maastricht. It’s back to the training ground for Bovens side as the face next weekend.

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FC Oss played host to FC Volendam as both sides began their season with the away side expecting a victory in their opening match against the weak Oss team. It wasn’t until the 78th minute that the deadlock was broken and it was no surprise that FC Volendam had scored after continues waves of attack from the away side they finally found the back of the net, after the homes defence conceded a penalty which was coolly slotted in by Robert Mühren. This wasn’t the only time that Mühren would find the back of the net as it became a night to remember for the striker, who went on to complete his hat-trick just  10 minutes after scoring the opener. The win for the away side was accursed when Mühren went on to score his fourth of the evening in the 90th minute. It looked like FC Oss were going to hold out for the draw but the match was taken from them after the penalty and Volendam showed the travelling support that they are capable to compete for promotion this season. Positives can be taken from this defeat to Theo van Cleef’s team as they fought bravely to hold out the impressive Mühren and his side. Delight for Erik Heijblok as the number one kept his clean sheet, as he hopes to collect several more clean sheets this season, but no doubt he will face stronger opposition in the coming weeks.

Another side that impressed in their first outing of the new season was VVV-Venlo as the Venlo side took on the Jong FC Twente team in De Koel. As the pride of the south set out to gain promotion this season it started off well for the side, Dyon Gijzen scored the opener for the home side in the 20th minute. The Enschede side continued to press as they went in search of equalisers before half time but instead it led to a straight red card awarded to the VVV player Jerold Promes for a disgraceful tackle just before the half time whistle. The second half was a test of Venlo’s defence who came up with the goods as the team defended for their lives and after spending a full 45 minutes with ten men the opposition failed to capitalize, which meant that VVV held the lead to take all 3 points. The home support will be delighted with the character shown from their team, but question marks ring out over a recognised goal scorer needed by the away side, if not it could be a long season with few goals in store for the Jong Twente team.

Helmond Sport failed to make home advantage count in this one as the away side of Fortuna Sittard took the spoils with a Jasper Waalkens goal in the 80th minute, which left the Helmond keeper Van der Steen less than impressed as he steered at his defence in disgust. The attacking formation of 4-3-3 turned out to be a success for the away side. But it was a busy night for the midfield of Sittard which was occupied by Gulpen, Vlug and Voorn as they put in a great shift for the side. Poor start to the season for the Helmond Sport team, but they can be proud of their efforts tonight, I believe there were several opportunities for the home side to end up on the right side of the score sheet but it wasn’t to be in the opening night of the Eerste Divisie.

Just over 250 kilometres separates the two sides that meet in Emmen tonight, as FC Emmen took on a fancied De Graafschap side. The opening goal of the night was scored from the penalty spot after a costly error from the De Graafschap defence, as Bannink went on to slot the ball into the net from the spot on the 38th minute. Emmen went into the break with a 1-0 lead, to the satisfaction of the home support. Most of the game was played in the middle of the pitch until the 87th minute, when De Grafschap’s Vermij scored for the away side. The two sides shared the points as the game faded out to a 1-1 draw. I personally think the home side can have no complaints as their side showed great character to hold off De Graafschap who will be hoping they can finish in a promotion place preferably occupying round two spot into the playoffs, but it’s a long season and nothing is to be taken for granted by the side, a fair result tonight in this match.

SATURDAY 9TH AUGUST

Only one match took place on Saturday evening, When Jong PSV began their campaign at home as they were paid a visit by Achilles 29. The PSV 2nd team took the lead early in the first half with a goal from the Belgian youngster Zakaria Bakkali, the 18 year-old is currently in talks with the English club Liverpool, and no doubt he has a bright future in the game of football. Jong PSV went in 2-0 at halftime, the second goal was scored just before the halftime whistle sounded, when Olivier Rommens netted for the home side. The second half was a complete disappointment compared to the first 45 minutes of the match, Jong PSV failed to extend their lead in the game but Achilles 29 never looked like scoring. Both teams shared the possession but neither was capable of finishing in the final third during the second half.  The home side’s keeper Nigel Bertams wasn’t tested by much and held out for his an opening clean sheet of his season. The matched finished Jong PSV 2, Achilles 0.

SUNDAY 10TH AUGUST

Sparta Rotterdam played host to FC Den Bosch in their first match of the 2014/15 season. The opening 45 minutes was a very poor spectacle of football as both sides squandered their opportunities on goal, and pressure mounted on the two side’s defences, as both were hoping they wouldn’t concede an early goal in their new campaigns. The teams went in at half time scoreless. The match didn’t come to live until the 55th minute, when referee Martin van den Kerkhof awarded the away side a penalty for a foul on Barry Maguire. Maguire stepped up to take the penalty and he neatly placed the ball in the back of the neat passed the Sparta goalkeeper Kortsmit. Sparta equalised on the 78th minute from the left back Kenny Teijsse, who is beginning his loan spell at the club from Eredivisie side FC Utrecht. Den Bosch took tip off after conceding, they lost possession rather cheaply in the middle of the park, which lead to another Sparta goal as Johan Voskamp went on to score Sparta’s second goal in the space of two minutes, and put his team 2-1 up in the match. The away side looked dead on their feet after the conceding the two goals in such quick succession, Den Bosch finished the match with 10 men after the number 17 for the away side Boddaert was shown a straight red for dangerous play in the closing minutes of the match. Sparta took all 3 points to the delight of the home fans, although it took the side a long time to find the back of the net, Adri Bogers will be the happier of the two managers after this one. I don’t think both of the two teams look like they can clinch a playoff place this season, but it is very early to call and with the transfer window still open both sides will be hoping they can improve their squad’s depth and quality.

Life began in the Eerste Divisie for last season’s relegated side NEC Nijmegen after spending 20 years in the top flight. De Goffert home of NEC was the venue for the match between home side NEC and visitors FC Eindhoven during a stormy Sunday afternoon in Nijmegen. The home side began lively and created a series of chances but they failed to take their chances until the 35th minute, when the new sighing of Sjoerd Ars scored the opening goal of the match. Delight on the faces of the home supporters and their smiles only grew larger as referee Allard Lindhout pointed to the spot, and another new sighing Tom Daemen stepped up and slotted the ball past goal keeper Muyters. The referee had no other option but to send FC Eindhoven’s defender Durwel off on a straight red card for the challenge inside the box. Putting the home side into a two goal lead going into half time. Ruud Broods side looked in complete control of the match and extended their lead in the 76th minute with a goal from the Iranian international Alireza Jahanbakhsh. FC Eindhoven did pull one back in the 80th minute, when the substitute Torino Hunte scored for the away side, giving the away fans something to celebrate the game was already over for the away side. Jean-Paul de Jong’s side faced a very strong NEC side, whose objective will be to achieve promotion back into the Eredivisie for the 2015/2016 season. FC Eindhoven will now prepare to face FC Emmen this coming Friday. NEC will travel to FC Volendam after both sides won convincingly in the opening week it should be an interesting match in Volendam.

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MONDAY 11TH AUGUST

The away side started the match with several newcomers including Steve Olfers, Alair Cruz Vicente, Jonathan Kindermans, Ralf Seuntjens, Anmar Almubaraki and Tarik Tissoudali. The Jong Ajax side was made up of a number of familiar faces to the line-up from the Ajax side in the top flight as Jaap Stam selected a very strong starting eleven including world cup stars Jasper Cillessen and Joël Veltman. The team also included forward Richairo Zivkovic as he hoped to impress the Ajax manager Frank de Boer who watched the match from the stands, also midfielders De Lerin Duarte, Lucas and Andersen all started. It didn’t take long for the red and white of Ajax to take the lead as the 18 year-old Queensy Menig opened the scoring for the home side on the 19th minute. In the opening forty minutes of the match Telstar showed a serious amount of respect towards the home side. Although a series of chances went begging as the white lions failed to make the most of their opportunities, Jong Ajax led 1-0 going into the halftime break. Telstar began the second half in dominant fashion as they went in search of an equaliser but the Ajax side always looked a threat as Lucas Andersen’s shot hit the frame of the goal, the fans didn’t have to wait too long for second goal of the match as Jong Ajax’s Queensy Menig scored his second of the night and put the home side in certainty of taking all three points in the 75th minute of the match. The match was put well out of reach from the Telstar team, when Danish international Lucas Andersen scored his 1st of the night as the Telstar keeper Varkevisser failed to clear the ball and the number 10 of Andersen finished the rebound to make it 3-0 to the home side. The attendance of 1.168 was treated to a game of international class on behalf of the Jong Ajax performance.

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