EREDIVISIE: Heerenveen 2-0 Excelsior





Heerenveen fans must have been nervous about life after Alfred Finnbogason and even more so over the past week after FC Twente took Hakim Ziyech out of the side too. Although there is a new guy in town, his name is Sam Larsson. A young winger who top Swedish journalist Markus Wulcan tipped for greatness. Along with the excellent skills of Daley Sinkgraven, Larsson showed a glimspe of this and provided a goal against Excelsior on Saturday night in Heerenveen’s 2-0 win that may have calmed down those fans’ fears writes Will Burns.

Dwight Lodeweges not only handed a debut to Larsson but to Morten Thorsby also with this week’s new signing Jeroen Lumu, formerly of Willem II, started on the bench.

The home side should have been a goal up early in the game after Stefano Marzo skipped past Elso Brito on the right-wing and decided to pop a shot off himself but blasted his effort way over the bar.

The first half was a tight affair and mostly consisted of midfield battles; however Excelsior were unlucky no to head into the break a goal up after a great chance from captain Sander Fischer. From a right-wing free kick Fischer received the ball on the edge of the box and smashed a shot right down the middle of the goal but Heerenveen stopper Kristoffer Nordfeldt was on hand to tip the shot onto the bar, much to the home fans delight.

Heerenveen had a decent chance which striker Mark Uth made a right pig’s ear of just before the half-time whistle. Larsson switched a wonderful ball over to Luciano Slagveer on the opposite wing, and Slagveer proceeded to pop a lovely ball into the area for Uth. The striker got it all wrong and eventually headed the ball away from goal instead of testing Jordy Deckers in the Excelsior goal.

Just after the break after Slagveer hit a low drive just wide, the impressive Daley Sinkgraven, only 18 year of age displayed great skill weaving in and out of the Excelsior defenders and the youngster threaded the ball through to Slagveer on 53 minutes, but Deckers held firm and made a vital stop.

The action really started to build with just eight minutes to go when Excelsior threw away what could have been a good point. After Sinkgraven again put Slagveer through on goal, hesitation from Deckers and Kevin van Dierman let Slagveer take control of the ball. The led to Deckers bringing the winger down and referee Edwin van der Graff point to the spot and dismissed the goalkeeper immediately.

With the visitors using all three subs, midfielder Kevin Vermuelen had to pull on Decker’s green shirt and do a stint in goal. He could do nothing about Martin de Roon’s spot kick and Heerenveen were ahead.

With the ten-men, Excelsior pressed for an equaliser however as usual in these cases it worked to their disadvantage as Heerenveen substitute Yanic Wildschut nearly made them pay with five minutes to go with a great counter attack. However, stand-in keeper Vermuelen made a great stop with his feet.

Minutes later, it was two and Sam Larsson capped off his debut with a goal that cemented all three points for his side. Great work again from Wildschut running at the retreating Excelsior defence, as he played the ball through the fast Larsson rushing down the right-wing. The young Swede used great composure to hit a first-time finish superbly to clinch the points.


HEERENVEEN: Nordfeldt, Marzo, Buijs (Otigba 59), Van Aken, Van Anholt, Thorsby (Lumu 70), Sinkgraven, De Roon, Slagveer, Uth (Wildschut 78), Larsson.

SUBS NOT USED: Schmidt, Raitala, De Fockert, Van Amersfoort.

GOALS: De Roon 84P, Larsson 89.

BOOKINGS: Uth 35, Otigba 64.

EXCELSIOR: Deckers, Karami, Van Dieren, Kruijs, Fischer, Botaka, Auassar, Van Weert (Maletic 73), Stans (Vermeulen 69), Van Mieghem (Gouriye 80), Brito.

SUBS NOT USED: Kuipers, Mattheij, Damen, Bovenberg.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: Brito 61.

SENT OFF: Deckers 82.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Daley Sinkgraven (Heerenveen)


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