WEEK TWO – 14TH-16TH AUGUST 2015
Ajax and Feyenoord lead the way as PSV picked up their first win of the new campaign and Will Burns is on hand to give you the lowdown of all this weekend’s action.
Ajax sit top of the pile and are yet to concede a goal with their second 3-0 win in two weeks, this time over Willem II on Saturday evening at the Amsterdam ArenA. Anwar El Ghazi shined the brightest of them all, adding another two goals to his tally, but again like last Sunday against AZ Alkmaar, the score flattered the Amsterdammers as they did not seem to be at full tempo as of yet this early into the season.
Polish striker Arek Milik opened the scoring on 18 minutes after some sloppy passing from Willem II defender Stijn Wuytens. Jurgen Streppel’s side, throughout the game, played the ball from the back and on this occasion, Wuytens laid the ball straight into the path of Ajax midfielder Nemanja Gudelj. The Serbian spotted Davy Klaassen sitting on the right of the attack and played the ball into the playmaker. Klaassen whipped a ball into the back post where the unmarked Milik headed home to give Ajax the advantage.
Ajax went in at half-time a goal up and the second-half began slowly and very cagey as never team looked like they wished to take the risk to go for the next goal. After hitting an effort from close range on the post minutes later, El Ghazi finally brought the second goal for the hosts on the 67th minute lashing a powerful curling shot into the net from the edge of the area.
Frank de Boer’s men looked comfortable and the game seemed wrapped up, so he handed a debut to Czech Republic youth international Václav Černý with 15 minutes remaining. The 17-year-old winger appeared only twice last season for Jong Ajax in the Eerste Divisie but notched an impressive two goals in those outings.
In added time, Ajax put the cherry on top of the cake with El Ghazi’s second goal with a clinical counter attacking move. Arsenal loanee Yaya Sanogo, whom came on late in the second-half, held the ball up well in the middle of the pitch as Černý sprinted down the right-wing. The young Czech collected the ball and hit a first time pass into the path of Lasse Schöne. The Danish international fired the ball across the edge of the area to find El Ghazi who powered a shot at goal and the effort was far too strong for Willem II stopper Kostas Lamprou to keep out. El Ghazi (number #9 in the TDF Top 50), has four goals in just two appearances and looks to be the Amsterdammers’ main man in this year’s title charge.
Ajax and their bitter rivals Feyenoord are the only two teams with back-to-back wins as the Rotterdammers made a successful trip to SC Cambuur on Sunday afternoon. Marking his arrival with a goal was Michiel Kramer, who replaced Colin-Kazim Richards just after the hour mark. The €1.5m signing from ADO Den Haag netted with a diving header after a cross from the right from Bilal Başaçıkoğlu. The result finished 2-0 to Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men after Dirk Kuyt, took his tally to two in two and doubled the lead deep into stoppage time.
Also on Sunday, defending champions PSV easily dispatched FC Groningen with a 2-0 triumph. After a wonderful deep through ball from Maxime Lestienne, fellow winger Luciano Narsingh breached Groningen’s offside trap to finish coolly after just six minutes of play to put the Eindhoven side in front. Philip Cocu’s side pressed for a second goal and looked comfortable throughout with Groningen failing to break down the PSV midfield, commanded by the industrious Andrés Guardado.
After being spoilt rotten last year with the championship-winning performances, the Philips Stadion was fairly silent until Narsingh hit the winning goal deep into the second-half. It was a run-of-the-mill outing for PSV and their upcoming match with Feyenoord on August 30th is a mouth-watering prospect, and could be a real thriller in the title race.
Vitesse opened up the weekend’s festivities thrashing ten-man Roda JC by 3-0 after Ard van Peppen was dismissed on the stroke of half-time for a handball on the line. Lewis Baker, on-loan from feeder club Chelsea, converted the penalty. The visitors fought and had chances to claw back the game, however on 68 minutes, after a wonderful through ball from teenage full-back Kevin Diks (TDF Top 50 #33), Nigerian striker Abiola Dauda slotted home first-time to double the lead. The third and final goal was sublime and a beautiful effort from another Chelsea loanee, Nathan. The young Brazilian cut inside from the left wing and curled the perfect shot past Roda stopper Benjamin van Leer.
FC Twente suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat at home to ADO Den Haag to leave head coach Alfred Schreuder under immense pressure this early into the season. ADO debutant Mike Havanaar got the ball rolling just 12 minutes in. Ruben Schaken made it 2-0 on 27 minutes before Hakim Ziyech gave the home fans hope on a comeback after notching just before the hour mark. ADO central defender Vito Wormgoor cemented the points before French striker Edouard Duplan added a fourth with ten minutes remaining to add insult to injury for Twente.
Excelsior held AZ Alkmaar to a 2-2 draw in the late Saturday night game in a very even contest that could have went either way. Jeff Stans opened the scoring for the hosts however, the lead only lasted five minutes as Norwegian midfielder Markus Henriksen levelled the game up with an excellent counter attack goal. Tom van Weert put the Rotterdam outfit back in front just after the half hour mark. Substitute Robert Mühren nabbed an equaliser on 64 minutes as AZ pressed for a winner. However, never side could find that all important winner as the sides shared the points with Excelsior boss Fons Groenendijk was the happier of the two manager at the full-time whistle.
PEC Zwolle swept past De Graafschap on Saturday with three goals in sixteen second-half minutes to win 3-0 in Doetinchem. Wouter Marinus, Bart van Hintum and Sheraldo Becker scored the goals in a comfortable victory for Ron Jans’ men.
FC Utrecht and sc Heerenveen drew 1-1 with Luciano Slagveer scoring with just ten minutes to go to cancel out Sébastien Haller’s opener.
Finally, in their first game inside the brand-new Polman Stadion, Heracles handed N.E.C. Nijmegen a 3-0 defeat after the Eredivisie newcomers were reduced to ten-man as Marcel Appiah was dismissed before the hour mark. Oussama Tannane scored an early goal five minutes in to give the Almelo outfit the lead with Thomas Bruns adding a second before Appiah’s sending off. Wout Weghorst wrapped up the win and gave John Stegeman a boost after last weekend’s appalling defeat at the hands of Roda JC.
Friday 14th August
Vitesse 3-0 Roda JC
Saturday 15th August
De Graafschap 0-3 PEC Zwolle
Ajax 3-0 Willem II
FC Twente 1-4 ADO Den Haag
Excelsior 2-2 AZ Alkmaar
Sunday 16th August
PSV 2-0 FC Groningen
FC Utrecht 1-1 sc Heerenveen
SC Cambuur 0-2 Feyenoord
Heracles 3-0 N.E.C. Nijmegen
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