Frank de Boer’s Ajax resumed their place at the top of the pile at home to Heracles and Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen was defeated by Groningen to end a four-game winning streak.
FC Utrecht 1 (Toornstra 71)
ADO Den Haag 0
The sun was shining in Utrecht this afternoon, the match between Utrecht and ADO did not. It was a poor contest narrowly won by a 71st minute Jens Toornstra strike, against his old club. Both goalkeepers were hardly tested throughout, but unfortunately for Utrecht stopper Robbin Ruiter went down with a groin injury that looked serious and he may be absent for some time.
FC Groningen 3 (Raitala 3OG, Bacuna 42P, de Leeuw 87)
Heerenveen 1 (Mareček 70)
Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen side made the worst possible start when Finnish defender Jukka Raitala put through his own net after three minutes, before a Leandro Bacuna spot-kick three minutes before the break extended their advantage. Substitute Lukas Mareček pulled a goal back in the 70th minute but midfielder Michael De Leeuw overhead kick in the penalty area cemented the win for Groningen with three minutes left.
NEC Nijmegen 1 (Conboy 19)
AZ Alkmaar 1 (Maher 17)
After four straight losses for NEC a well deserved draw at home to relegation threatened AZ was a welcome result. Hot property Adam Maher, rumoured to leave AZ in the summer, scored a lovely solo effort on 17 minutes from outside the box to fire past Gabor Babos in goal. Two minutes later, NEC were level with Kevin Conboy hit a wonderful curling free-kick straight home. NEC got themselves in trouble on the hour when Nick van der Velden stupidaly kicked out at Giliano Wijnaldum. AZ had a golden opportunity spurned to take all three points in injury time when Aron Jóhannsson hit his shot straight into the arms of Babos.
League leaders Ajax are now back to three points ahead of PSV and Vitesse has they turned over Heracles Almelo 4-0 although having just ten men for the majority of the game. Ajax’s Danish midfielder Lasse Schöne gave them an early lead after 13 minutes after a one-two with Kolbeinn Sigþórsson.
Heracles did come back into the game without scoring a goal but forced enough pressure on Kenneth Vermeer, so much so that he found himself having an early bath. The pacey Geoffrey Castillion outpaced Toby Alderweireld and was through on goal but Vermeer rushed out and brought the striker down on the edge of the box. On 48 minutes, Vermeer was sent off immediately and he will now miss Ajax’s crunch title clash with PSV next weekend.
Ajax did not panic and found themselves two goals to the good four minutes later. Icelandic striker Sigþórsson smashed a close range shot against the crossbar and latched on the rebound for 2-0. On 75 minutes, Ryan Babel smashed home a Schöne cross and Christian Eriksen finished the rout six minutes from time.
PSV and Vitesse have temporarily joined Ajax on sixty points with wins today and both are now joint top in a very close title race in the Eredivisie. Ajax play Heracles tomorrow knowing that they have no room for error for the remainder of the season with Feyenoord also snapping at their heels.
Vitesse 3 (Bony 28, 59, Ibarra 50)
NAC Breda 0
The on-fire Ivorian striker Wilfried ‘Daddy Cool’ Bony added his 28th and 29th goals of the season this evening in a 3-0 win over NAC Breda that fired Vitesse on sixty points to join PSV and Ajax at the top.
It was a really poor start to the game until on 28 minutes when Bony scored his 28th of the season in just 26 games. It was also the eighth Eredivisie game in a row in which he has scored a goal. Vitesse went from first gear to fifth gear as soon as Bony hit the net. Frenchman Gael Kakuta (on loan from Chelsea) nearly finished off a brilliant solo effort after crashing his shot off the crossbar just a minute later.
Renato Ibarra virtually sealed the game for Vitesse on 50 minutes with a wonderful solo goal after an error from NAC goalkeeper Jelle ten Rouwelaar. Bony was on the scoresheet again and killed the game off on 59 minutes for his 29th league goal of the season.
FC Twente 2 (Castaignos 44, Chadli 56)
Roda JC 0
FC Twente fianlly clinched their first win in 2013 in a home win over relegation worried Roda JC.
Luc Castaignos and Nacer Chadli were the goalscorers at the Grolsch Veste. Twente dominated but once again had great difficulty to find the net. Once there had been opportunities for Tim Hölscher, Chadli, the chances fell the way of Castaignos. The youngster smashed the ball home past goalkeeper Filip Kurto after a nice through ball from Leroy Fer.
Shortly after the break, Chadli made it 2-0 after he used great technique to curl the ball inside the post. Roda unfortunately could not break Twente down or get themselves back in the game and looking good contenders for the drop.
PEC Zwolle 1 (Mokhtar 21)
RKC Waalwijk 1 (Jozefzoon 7)
PEC Zwolle and RKC are also in relagation toruble and could not help their causes by sharing the points on Saturday evening. Florian Jozefzoon gave RKC an excellent start after just 7 minutes. The home team recovered, however, and Youness Mokhtar equaliser midway through the first half. After the break, both teams spurned chances to take the maximum points. Both RKC and Zwolle are on thirty points after 29 games, the teams are respectively thirteenth and fourteenth.
In a bland first half, it was the basement club Willem II that looked more likely to score with 19-year-old left-winger Virgil Misidjan, became a real thorn in PSV’s side throughout. But it was an old face that opened the scoring. Thirty-five year-old stalwart Marc Van Bommel hit a 25-yard low drive past Belgian goalkeeper David Meul in the Willem goal in first-half stoppage time. This was his 50th Eredivisie goal for PSV.
Willem grabbed an unlikely equalizer on 54 minutes through Jordens Peters with an accurate header past PSV ‘keeper Boy Waterman after Peters got on the end of a lovely whipped cross from Marc Höcher. PSV regained the lead and got their title challenge back on track fifteen minutes from the end with the reliant Swede striker Ola Toivonen. Toivonen finishing a wonderful move from the hardworking Memphis Depay. The points were settled minutes later with a rare Timothy Derijck goal. A exquistie backheeled flick by Kevin Strootman from a Atiba Hutchinson cross setup the big Belgian defender Derjick perfectly to head home.
Feyenoord added a little pressure on the Eredivisie leaders Ajax with a close 1-0 win over VVV Venlo on Friday evening.
Feyenoord headed into tonight’s game in fourth place, four points adrift of leader Ajax and one behind both PSV and Vitesse, but with the one goal win Feyenoord have now jumped to second place with the victory, although the surrounding teams are obviously still to play this weekend.
Feyenoord were forced to work hard for the three points, especially with scores being locked at 0-0 heading into the final twenty minutes. It took a 71st-minute strike from Italian striker Graziano Pelle after a whipping cross from defender Joris Mathijsen to break the deadlock and send Feyenoord second.
FC Groningen today announced that Erwin van de Looi will replace Robert Maaskant as head coach at the end of the season, he has signed a two-year contract. It was also stated that Dick Lukkein would be his assistant.
Van de Looi has worked his way up the ranks at Groningen after started as youth team coach in 2008 until 2010 when he became then head coach Peter Huistra’s assistant. After Huistra’s departure he then moved on to Maaskant’s assistant but after last month’s contract negoications, Maaskant has decided to leave.
As a player, Van de Looi was a player and started at the youth academy of Vitesse Arnhem, and went on to make his professional debut at Den Bosch in 1991. Then followed five years at Vitesse, three season at NAC Breda, a yearover in Germany for the Stuttgarter Kickers and finished at FC Groningen. He retired at 30 after sustained injuries.
The title looks to be heading to Amsterdam once again as Ajax take pole position with a thumping 4-1 win at home to NEC Nijmegen. Second placed PSV Eindhoven were held to a 2-2 draw away to relegation threatened Roda JC. Also, Ivorian hitman Wilfried ‘Daddy Cool’ Bony was on the scoresheet yet again as Vitesse climbed to third position with a win over PEC Zwolle.
Roda JC 2 (Demouge 13, Malki 87)
PSV Eindhoven 2 (Toivonen 19, 33)
PSV dropped a precious two points in the title race after a 2-2 draw with Roda JC in Kerkrade on Sunday afternoon. Swedish forward Ola Toivonen hit a first-half double as PSV came from behind after on-loan striker Frank Demouge’s (from League One side Bournemouth) early opener. With three minutes remaining, Syrian international Senharib Malki scored a dramatic equaliser to salvage a point for the hosts.
PSV were the better team in the first 45 minutes, but against the run of play, conceded a goal in the 13th minute. Demouge rose high above his marker to produce a glancing header from Mark-Jan Fledderus’ corner, scoring the opener for Ruud Brood’s team from their first meaningful chance. However, it was a short-lived lead for Roda, just six minutes later PSV drew level, when Toivonen headed home at the far post. PSV enjoyed most possession of the ball and attacking pair Memphis Depay and Jermain Lens had chances to put PSV ahead. Dick Advocaat’s team deservedly took the lead in the 33rd minute, after veteran Mark van Bommel delivered a fine cross from the right. Jeremain Lens just could not connect but Toivonen was on hand to tap home from close range for his second goal.
Roda keeper Kurto quickly left his line to deny Tim Matavz and minutes later the Slovenian striker, with only the keeper to beat, sent an effort just wide of the post. Disaster struck for PSV late in the goal, when Malki scored the dramatic leveller, putting away Mikołaj Lebedyński’s flick on.
HIGHLIGHTS (in Dutch)
Vitesse Arnhem 2 (Bony 9, Havenaar 35)
PEC Zwolle 1 (Valpoort 78)
PSV’s slip allowed Vitesse Arnhem to draw level in second place as they extended their winning run to six games with a 2-1 win over PEC Zwolle at the Gelredome. Hot property Wilfried Bony and Mike Havenaar fired them 2-0 by the break with Zwolle’s sole reply coming via Arsenio Valpoort with 12 minutes left. Bony opened the scoring after after good work by Ecuadorean Renato Ibarra just nine minutes capitalising on a mistake from Zwolle defence. It was shortly 2-0 in the 35th minute, Theo Janssen swung in a flawless free-kick to find the rising Havenaar to double the lead. Zwolle got a late consolation from young loanee winger Valpoort (from Heerenveen) and Theo Janssen gained a 93rd minute yellow card for jawjacking with the referee. He is now suspended for the next weekend’s game, at home against NAC Breda.
Erwin Koeman’s was delighed as his RKC Waalwijk side grabbed three much needed points completely outplaying ADO Den Haag to win 4-0, and to edge away from the relegation places. All four goals were a comedy of errors for team from The Hague but the result was no laughing matter. Mart Lieder got the ball rolling on ten minutes before a Vito Wormgoor own goal and Robert Braber’s goal shortly before half-time all but settled the match. Henrico Drost put the icing on the cake two minutes before time.
“Today, we had an aggressive attacking forward play and finished our chances,” Koeman told Eredivisie Live . “We were passionate and we deserved to win. We came in at half-time at 3-0, which was of course was delightful. I think we have done well. “
Heracles 1 (te Wierik 43)
AZ Alkmaar 2 (Henriksen 22, te Wierik 24OG)
AZ Alkmaar grabbed a much-needed win 2-1 at Heracles Almelo despite playing with ten men for almost an hour. Markus Henriksen’s 22nd-minute opener was followed by a Mike te Wierik own goal two minutes later to give AZ a 2-0 lead. Thomas Lam saw red on the hour but Heracles were only able to pull a single goal back when Te Wierik made up for his earlier blunder with a 43rd-minute goal.
Ajax 4 (Fischer 21, 77, van Ejiden 25OG, Babel 81)
NEC 1 (van der Velden 78)
Ajax moved three points clear at the top of the table with a 4-1 win over NEC Nijmegen, Sunday evening at the Amsterdam Arena. Viktor Fischer scoring his first goal since February, made it 1-0 on 21 minutes before a Rens Van Eijden own goal gave Ajax full control. Fischer’s second on 77 minutes was quickly nullified by a Nick Van der Velden goal but substitute Ryan Babel scored nine minutes from the end to ensure a wide-margin win.
Ajax dominating from the kick-off, opened the scoring with Danish youngster Fischer coolly finishing past NEC’s Hungarian goalkeeper Gábor Babos after impressive build up play by Lasse Schone and Siem de Jong. The lead was doubled just four minutes later thanks to an own goal from van Eijden trying to clear a Christian Eriksen cross-cum-shot.
The exciting Fischer extended Ajax’s lead further on 77 minutes with a delightful chip from the edge of the box. After recieving the ball from Eriksen, he spotted Babos off his line and the Dane delicately slipped his foot under the ball and glided it home into the top corner to get the crowd on their feet. NEC hit back right after play resumed with Nick van der Velden scoring after a fine pass from Victor Palsson to reduce the defecit. It only lasted three minutes as Ajax regained their three-goal advantage when substitute Ryan Babel added the fourth on 81 minutes.
Ajax now lay three points clear at the top of the pile but Frank de Boer knows that just one slip up could let PSV or Vitesse over take them.
Feyenoord’s dream of their first Eredivisie title since 1999 was left in tatters on Saturday night after Marco Van Basten’s underperforming Heerenveen side hit two late goals to take a 2-0 win at Abe Lenstra Stadion.
Heerenveen 2 (Finnbogason 85, El Ghannassy 89)
In a poor first half, it was the hosts who made the best chance – Serbian playmaker Filip Djuricic forcing Erwin Mulder to produce a decent save. It was the Serb with another superb solo effort just shortly after the break nearly put Heerenveen ahead, but, after a mazy run, the ball smashed off the post and the visitors were able to clear their lines.
The match looked to end in a goalless draw, but belatedly came to life just five minutes from time. Hot prospect Jeffrey Gouweleeuw, a central defender, made a surging run into box and clipped the ball onto hitman Alfred Finnbogason who put the hosts 1-0 up. Moments later, Ronald Koeman’s Feyenoord were like a team possessed and seemed likely to pull one back. Wesley Verhoek with a great effort from the edge of the box but Swedish goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt was well positioned to make the save.
With the game heading towards stoppage time, the hosts provided one final flourish to ensure the three points. Belgian Yassine El Ghanassy, on loan from Gent, slotted the ball home from the edge of the area to complete a 2-0 win.
The result leaves Feyenoord in third.
HIGHLIGHTS (in Dutch)
FC Twente 1 (Brama 83)
NAC Breda 1 (van der Weg 50)
Twente captain Wout Brama hit a long range shot, although deflected, past NAC ‘keeper Jelle ten Rouwelaar to clinch a point for his side and keep their hopes of playing avoiding the Europa League playoffs alive. Kenny van der Weg had put the visitors ahead just after the break with after a messy scramble from a free-kick.
Twente sit in joint fifth but need to make up six points on Vitesse (play PEC Zwolle at home today) to clinch a top four place to gain an automatic Europa League berth.
HIGHLIGHTS (in Dutch)
Willem II 1 (Haemhouts 26)
FC Groningen 2 (Bacuna 66P, Texeira 72)
Willem II are routed to the bottom of the league and despite a tremendously spirited performance against Groningen on Saturday, they looked doomed to be relegated.
The home side took the through Robbie Haemhouts on 26 minutes after some great link up play with Virgil Misidjan and Kees van Buuren. Willem pressed for a second and looked certain to finish with a victory but in the second half, Groningen turned it around. A corner was swung in on 65 minutes and Willem’s Luxembourg international striker Aurélien Joachim got caught with a dubious handball and Leandro Bacuna smashed home the resulting penalty to tie things up.
The Tilburg side must be upset after dominating the game and they were even more so a few minutes later. Bacuna placed a wonderful cross from the right onto the head of Uruguayan David Texeira who planted a gliding header into the corner of the goal. You have to feel sorry for Willem as they lost this game when they should have won it comfortably on the basis of their play.
Willem sit with only 17 points, nine adrift from safety but only four away from VVV Venlo in the relgation play-off position.
HIGHLIGHTS (in Dutch)
FC Utrecht 2 (Duplan 5, de Kogel 16)
VVV Venlo 1 (Linssen 37)
Utrecht sit comfortable in sixth after two early first half goals settled their game with 17th placed VVV Venlo. After only 5 minutes Édouard Duplan got on the scoresheet from a corner. Belgian Jan Wuytens smashed a header onto the crossbar and Frenchman Duplan knocked home the rebound.
Venlo’s problems were made worse on 16 minutes when striker Leon de Kogel grabbed Utrecht’s second after a horrendous blunder from the VVV defence. Young on-loan defensive pairing of Kaj Ramsteijn (from Feyenoord) and Nils Röseler (from Twente) tried to play the ball in their own box but de Kogel pounced to place the ball into Finnish goalkeeper Niki Mäenpää’s goal. It was a horrendous blunder by Röseler that displays the troubles that Venlo has suffered this season.
Bryan Linssen grabbed a first half consolation after a wicked cross from Oğuzhan Türk was hit by Robert Cullen. Cullen’s shot was saved but Linssen showed his instincts to force the ball home at the second attempt.