The nineteenth round of Eredivisie action got underway on Friday evening at De Grolsch Veste where FC Twente came away with their first win of 2017 thanks to a lone Joachim Andersen strike just ten minutes into their local derby against Heracles.
The 20-year-old defender headed home a Bersant Celina cross from the right to snap the Tukkers’ two-game losing streak and condemn Twente’s local rivals to a second straight reversal since the turn of the year.
Saturday’s Eredivisie action got underway at the AFAS Stadion where a late Mathias Pogba strike three minutes from time salvaged a point for Sparta Rotterdam.
Alex Pastoor’s side snapped a four-game losing streak that had seen last season’s Eerste Divisie champions slide towards the danger zone by denying AZ Alkmaar a third win in as many games after a Derrick Luckassen header from a Maumer Tankovic free kick nine minutes after the break had looked to have secured all three points for John van den Brom’s high flying side.
Title-chasing, Feyenoord made it five wins in their last five outings in all competitions by following up their victory at relegation-threatened, Roda by dispatching fellow strugglers, Willem II at De Kuip on Saturday evening.
However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for the league leaders who came into this encounter five points clear of second placed, Ajax and had a lone Jens Toornstra header just after the half hour mark to thank for securing a fifth win in succession in all competitions for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side.
The home side found their former ‘keeper Kostas Lamprou in fine form throughout and should have doubled their advantage just after the hour mark when Rick Karsdorp slipped in Eljero Elia who saw his well-weighted chip over the Greek ‘stopper wrongly ruled out by referee, Ed Janssen who adjudged that the forward was in an offside position when he received the ball.
Despite an encouraging performance by the visitors, the defeat left Erwin van de Looi’s men dangling precariously close to the bottom three with just two points separating the Tilburg-based outfit from 16th placed PEC Zwolle.
Elsewhere on Saturday evening, PEC Zwolle picked up a priceless three points at the expense of beleaguered, ADO Den Haag.
A second goal in as many games from Birmingham City loanee, Nicolai Brock-Madsen eleven minutes after the restart at the Kyocera Stadion ultimately secured a first victory for Ron Jans’ side since a derby day triumph over Go Ahead Eagles at the end of October.
Zeljko Petrovic’s side are yet to record a point in 2017 and despite Gervane Kastaneer having headed the hosts into the ascendancy just ten minutes into this relegation six pointer, Kingsley Ehizibue levelled for the visitors seven minutes before the interval before Brock-Madsen completed the away side’s come-from-behind victory to leave the men from The Hague precariously placed in 15th place, just ahead of Zwolle by virtue of goal difference.
Saturday’s Eredivisie action was concluded at the Noordlease Stadion where it ended honours even between FC Groningen and ten-man Vitesse Arnhem.
Having pounced four minutes into the second half to cancel out Kelvin Leerdam’s early own goal, Navarone Foor would later see red when referee, Jeroen Manschot gave the 24-year-old his marching orders four minutes from time following a reckless challenge on Juninho Bacuna.
Sunday’s Eredivisie action got underway at the Stadion Galgenwaard where a stunning volley from Lasse Schone seven minutes from time kept Ajax in touch with Feyenoord at the top of the standings following a narrow victory over FC Utrecht.
With both sides having struck the bar in a goalless first half, the 30-year-old made amends with his spectacular strike after having squandered a spot-kick just after the hour mark. Having cut inside, Amin Younes’ cross had hit the arm of Nacer Barazite inside the host’s area – leading referee, Bjorn Kuipers to award the visitors a penalty which the Dane then fired over the bar.
The narrow victory secured Ajax’s first win in Utrecht since 2009 and kept Peter Bosz’s side five points off the pace set by their bitter rivals from Rotterdam.
NEC Nijmegen extended their recent unbeaten run to four games by seeing off the challenge of struggling, Roda JC at the Goffertstadion on Sunday afternoon.
Gregor Breinburg had put the hosts into the ascendancy from the spot with just seven minutes on the clock after Mohamed Rayhi had been felled in the box by Daryl Werker before the 25-year-old repeated the trick by doubling the home side’s advantage with a second penalty kick eleven minutes into the second half when Roda replacement, Frederic Ananou brought down Ferdi Kadioglu.
With the victory, Peter Hyballa’s men moved within two points of the UEFA Europa League playoff places. For Roda, the defeat consigned Yannis Anastasiou’s men to the foot of the table by virtue of goal difference.
Elsewhere, Go Ahead Eagles climbed off the foot of the table at Roda’s expense – securing just a third away point of the season from their trip to the Stadion Woudestein.
Liverpool loanee, Pedro Chirivella had headed Hans de Koning’s strugglers into the ascendancy nine minutes into this relegation six-pointer before Nigel Hasselbaink levelled for Excelsior just before the half hour mark – tapping in at the far post following a Kevin Vermeuelen cross from the right.
The nineteenth round of Eredivisie action was concluded at the Philips Stadion where a last minute strike by Hector Moreno secured an unlikely victory in a seven-goal thriller for back-to-back champions, PSV Eindhoven over high flying, Heerenveen.
Iranian international, Reza Ghoochannejhad had stunned the home crowd by firing Jurgen Streppel’s men into the lead with just five minutes on the clock before Davy Propper levelled for the hosts just after the half hour mark.
Phillip Cocu’s side went into the interval with their noses in front when Gaston Pereiro nodded home Luuk de Jong’s goal-ward header from close range just eight minutes later.
However, the home side’s lead was short-lived – Ghoochannejhad slamming the ball past Jeroen Zoet following a deceptive reverse pass by Arber Zeneli to tie the game up at two apiece nine minutes into the second half.
The hosts had an opportunity to take the lead with a quarter of an hour left to play when Luuk de Jong was brought down in the box by Doke Schmidt having found himself goal-side of his marker with only Heerenveen ‘stopper, Erwin Mulder to beat leaving referee, Bas Nijhuis little choice but to point to the spot. However, Pereiro saw the resultant spot-kick saved by the former Feyenoord ‘keeper to leave the game in the balance until ten minutes from time when Ghoochannejhad headed home a Sam Larsson corner at the back post to complete his hat-trick.
Despite being seemingly odds-on for all three, ultimately, Streppel’s men wouldn’t even leave Eindhoven with a point as first, Chelsea loanee, Marco van Ginkel levelled the scores with just a minute left to play before Mexican centre half, Moreno got a crucial touch to a free kick from the right in the last minute to keep the reigning champions’ title hopes alive.
Results: Week 19
FC Twente 1-0 Heracles
AZ Alkmaar 1-1 Sparta Rotterdam
ADO Den Haag 1-2 PEC Zwolle
Feyenoord 1-0 Willem II
FC Groningen 1-1 Vitesse Arnhem
FC Utrecht 0-1 AFC Ajax
NEC Nijmegen 2-0 Roda JC
Excelsior 1-1 Go Ahead Eagles
PSV Eindhoven 4-3 SC Heerenveen
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