SATURDAY 23RD AUGUST 2014
WILLEM II 3 – 0 AZ ALKMAAR
Willem II blew AZ Alkmaar away 3-0 on Saturday evening to show that the Eredivisie newcomers are not pushovers writes Will Burns.
The hosts dominated throughout the first-half and nearly got off to a flyer after just three minutes had it not been for Robbie Haemhouts blazing over from just ten yards out.
The Tilburg side did take the lead after just 14 minutes of play through Brazilian striker Bruno Andrade after Ben Sahar capitalised on a terrible mistake by AZ right-back Matías Johansson. Caught in the corner with the ball with Sahar hunting him down, the Swedish international laid the ball into the path of goalkeeper Esteban. The pass did not reach and the Israeli striker nicked the ball away, laid into Andrade inside the box who tapped home. AZ coach Marco van Basten did not looked impressed as his opposite number, Pierluigi Collina-lookalike Jurgen Streppel, punched the air with delight.
Goalscorer Andrade did not last long after his goal picking up a calf strain and was replaced by the always energetic Charlton Vicento on 20 minutes. AZ had injury troubles too with Markus Henriksen being forced off with a knock for Thom Haye some six minutes later.
Streppel’s men nearly doubled their advantage on 28 minutes as Sahar and Ali Messaoud, formerly of AZ, linked up well before the latter rattled the foot of the post with a low drive, however a minute later Messaoud would have more luck.
A long throw from Tim Cornelisse caused major problems for the AZ defence and the ball fell perfectly in the area for Messaoud. Holding off the challenge of Jeffrey Gouweleeuw, the midfielder placed a shot which again hit the post, however the rebound landed at his feet to tap home to make it 2-0.
AZ obviously desperate for a goal pressed for the remainder of the first half but returning goalkeeper Kostas Lamprou, suspended last weekend, dealt with only weak efforts from the poor attack of Guus Hupperts, Mikhail Rosheuvel and Muamer Tankovic.
After a slow start to the second period, AZ came close. Substitute Thom Haye rose above everyone at the front post from a Hupperts corner but Lamprou did really well to tip the ball over as the 9,500 inside the Koning Willem II Stadion erupted out of their seats.
As AZ continued to press, Willem II sealed the game off with a third with five minutes to go. Caught out at the back, Charlton Vicento outsprinted Johansson and clipped the ball over the onrushing Esteban to confirm the win.
AZ were very poor here and will need to improve vastly away to FC Dordrecht next weekend. Willem II are also on their travels as they face Go Ahead Eagles in Deventer.
WILLEM II: Lamprou, Cornelisse, Peters, S. Wuytens (Van der Struijk 80), Heymans, Haemhouts (Ippel 75), Messaoud, D. Wuytens, Ondaan, Andrade (Vicento 21), Sahar.
SUBS NOT USED: Meul, Heerkens, Sporkslede, Derkx.
GOALS: Andrade 14, Messaoud 29, Vicento 86.
BOOKINGS: Ondaan 33.
AZ: Esteban, Johansson, Gouweleeuw, Wuytens, Poulsen, Gudelj, Henriksen (Haye 27), Ortiz, Hupperts, Tankovic, Rosheuvel (Elm 63).
SUBS NOT USED: Rochet, Luckassen, Hoedt, Haps.
BOOKINGS: Wuytens 37.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Ali Messaoud (Willem II)
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