Category Archives: KNVB BEKER



 Semi Final Review

Wednesday 28th February 2018

Wednesday evening saw both of this season’s KNVB Beker semi-final ties take place with the action beginning at the AFAS Stadion where AZ Alkmaar hit struggling FC Twente for four to book a place in the final of the competition for the second season in succession.

Having lost out to Vitesse Arnhem in last year’s final, the hosts began the match in determined fashion and took the lead when a marauding Jonas Svensson pulled the ball back for Guus Til to beat a static Joel Drommel from just inside the area with twenty four minutes on the clock.

The home side would effectively kill the tie as a contest by hitting their relegation-threatened guests twice in the space of four second half minutes when, with Wout Weghorst having doubled the host’s advantage with his twentieth goal of the campaign in all competitions by stooping low to head home an Oussama Idrissi cross nineteen minutes after the restart, the in-form Idrissi would then make it three for John van den Brom’s side in the 68th minute by ghosting in at the back post to turn home a low cross from Fredrik Midtsjø.

Image result for AZ Alkmaar 4-0 FC Twente

The thoughts of the home faithful had long since turned to the club’s second cup final in as many years by the time Weghorst, having held off the attentions of Peet Bijen, sent a trailing Idrissi through to claim his second and the home side’s fourth seventeen minutes from time.

Like the first, Wednesday’s second semi-final tie ultimately proved to be every bit a as straightforward as its predecessor with reigning Eredivisie champions, Feyenoord hitting another side struggling at the wrong end of the table, Willem II, for three to reach the final of the competition for the second time in three years.

With any chance of retaining their Eredivisie crown now long gone, this competition, which Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side won in 2016, now represents the club’s last opportunity to claim a piece of silverware from what has been a disappointing campaign and, buoyed by a vocal home crowd, it took just twenty minutes for the hosts to break the deadlock when the returning Ridgeciano Haps’ cut-back was cleverly left by Nicolai Jørgensen for the trailing Steven Berghuis to smash the ball past Mattijs Branderhorst from just outside the box and claim his seventeenth goal of the season in all competitions.

Having played no part in Sunday’s three-goal reversal at the hands of table-topping PSV Eindhoven, Robin van Persie was unleashed from the start here and the 34-year-old was on hand to double the home side’s advantage on the hour by prodding home a square ball from a marauding Haps who, seconds earlier, had been found in acres of space on the left by a lovely diagonal pass from Jean-Paul Boëtius on the opposite flank, to cap a swift counter attack and notch the 300th goal of his senior career before departing to a heroes’ reception nine minutes from time.

His replacement would also make his mark, when just three minutes after taking the field, Jens Toornstra slipped in Tonny Vilhena, who ghosted past two before putting the result beyond doubt with a low drive into the bottom left hand corner of Branderhorst’s net to seal Feyenoord’s place in the final of the competition that will take place at De Kuip on Sunday 22nd April.


Results: Semi-Finals

AZ Alkmaar 4-0 FC Twente

Feyenoord 3-0 Willem II

2017/18 KNVB Beker Final

Sunday 22nd April 2018

De Kuip

AZ Alkmaar vs Feyenoord


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30th January – 1st February 2018

The quarter final stage of this season’s KNVB Beker got underway on Tuesday evening at De Grolsch Veste where three goals in the space of sixteen second half minutes saw FC Twente end Eerste Divisie outfit, Cambuur’s hopes of making a second successive appearance in the final four of the competition.

Having amassed a formidable cup pedigree over the course of the past two seasons, the away side appeared on course to claim yet another big scalp when Nigel Robertha sent an untracked Mathias Schils clear to slot the ball past an onrushing Joel Drommel from just inside the area to break the deadlock twelve minutes before the break.

Despite enjoying a half time lead, the visitors would find themselves pegged back just before the hour when the home side were handed the opportunity to restore parity after Martijn van der Laan pulled Tom Boere to the ground on the edge of the box, leaving Oussama Assaidi to dispatch the resultant spot kick.

Buoyed by the Moroccan’s strike, the hosts would edge themselves ahead just eight minutes later when Adam Maher curled a free kick from just outside the area into the top left hand corner of Erik Cummins’ net before striking again fourteen minutes from time with a spectacular long range effort that left the visiting ‘keeper grasping at thin air to dispel any hopes the visitors may have harboured of staging a late comeback.

Wednesday’s cup action got underway at the AFAS Stadion where four-time cup winners, AZ Alkmaar remained on course to lift the trophy for the first time since 2013 by hitting an undermanned PEC Zwolle for four.

Buoyed by having claimed their first victory since the turn of the year by scoring twice in the opening fourteen minutes of their encounter with Willem II on Sunday afternoon, it took just twenty-one minutes for John van den Brom’s men to break the deadlock when, having been set away by a long ball from Stijn Wuytens, Wout Weghorst shrugged off the attentions of Dirk Marcellis and chipped the ball delightfully over an onrushing Diederik Boer to put his side a goal to the good.

Despite Wouter Marinus restoring parity for the visitors by glancing home a skewed effort from Younes Namli on the edge of the box just ten minutes later, when an untracked Guus Til ghosted in to fire home an Oussama Idrissi corner five minutes before the break things would swing back in the home side’s favour and when visiting ‘keeper, Boer was given his marching orders by referee, Bas Nijhuis, for handling the ball outside his area after haring off his line to snuff out an Alireza Jahanbakhsh-led breakaway nine minutes after the restart, John van ‘t Schip’s side were left with the proverbial mountain to climb.

Any thoughts of a comeback were dispelled just six minutes later when, having drawn the attentions of stand-in ‘keeper, Mickey van der Hart, Weghorst picked out an unmarked Idrissi at the back post to make it three before the AZ skipper claimed his second of the evening after being slipped in by an unselfish Jahanbakhsh seconds after the Iranian international had been sent clear by an incisive through ball from Fredrik Midtsjø nineteen minutes from time.

Image result for Feyenoord 2-0 PSV knvb beker

The night’s action was concluded at De Kuip where 2016 cup winners, Feyenoord ended table-topping, PSV Eindhoven’s hopes of securing a double in the tie of the round.

The importance of this game wasn’t lost on the hosts who took just three minutes to break the deadlock when Sam Larsson beat Santiago Arias to slide the ball into an unguarded net after Jeroen Zoet could only partially block a low drive from Steven Berghuis, whose swift give and go with Nicolai Jørgensen had unhinged the visitors back line seconds earlier.

With any chance of defending their Eredivisie crown now long gone, the home side ensured that they would remain on course to add to August’s Johan Cruijff Schaal triumph when Tonny Vilhena doubled the host’s lead with a deflected strike from just outside the area after the away side could only partially clear a Larsson corner from the left ten minutes before the break.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side might have made their victory even more emphatic but, despite initially allowing a 59th minute effort by Jørgensen, referee, Pol van Boekel later chalked off the Danish international’s strike after consulting with the video referee as replays showed the 27-year-old to have strayed marginally offside as Renato Tapia set him away with an incisive through-ball.

Despite seeing Brad Jones palm a Mauro Junior free kick onto the bar just three minutes later there ultimately proved to be no coming back for PSV as the hosts held on to claim a semi-final berth.

The one remaining quarter final tie took place on Thursday evening in Tilburg where penalties were required to separate hosts, Willem II and Roda JC, with the home side edging out their guests 5-4 to claim a place in the last four of the competition.

Despite a covering Daryl Werker clearing a goal-bound effort from Fran Sol off the line thirteen minutes in and Fernando Lewis striking the foot of Hidde Jurjus’ right hand upright just three minutes later, the tie would remain scoreless until eight minutes before the break when, with Fernando Lewis having been penalised for pulling a marauding Jannes Vansteenkiste down inside the area, a nonchalantly taken spot kick from Feyenoord loanee, Simon Gustafson put the away side into a somewhat undeserving lead.

However, the visitor’s advantage would last just two minutes before Vansteenkiste’s attempted clearance of a Thom Haye free kick fell invitingly for Bartholomew Ogbeche to nod the ball beyond a static Jurjus.

The visitors would restore their advantage three minutes into the second half when Schalke loanee, Donis Avdijaj cut in from the left and unleashed a blistering drive into the top left hand corner of Mattijs Branderhorst’s net.

However, the home side would claw their way back onto level terms for a second time just after the hour when a deflected Konstantinos Tsimikas free kick found its way past Jurjus and the host’s Greek defender might have secured his side’s place in the final four in similar fashion were it not for a covering Henk Dijkhuizen, who was on hand to head the 21-year-old’s 66th minute set piece off the line.

With the game headed for extra time the away side looked to have snatched a late winner but Avdijaj’s 82nd minute effort was ruled out by the video referee, who deemed Mikhail Rosheuvel to have handled the ball earlier in the move.

The hosts might have snatched it at the death when Haye saw his volley from just outside the area clip the outside of Jurjus’ left hand upright seconds after Christian Kum had cleared an Ogbeche effort off the line when another Tsimikas free kick sparked chaos inside the visitor’s box in the first minute of added time.

Despite Mohamed El Hankouri striking the foot of Jurjus’ right hand upright with a low drive from the edge of the area seconds after replacing Haye during the break in extra time, the game would go to penalties with the decisive moment coming when, with the hosts having converted all five of their spot kicks, second half substitute, Tsiy William Ndenge saw his attempt saved by Branderhorst.


Quarter Finals

FC Twente 3-1 Cambuur

AZ Alkmaar 4-1 PEC Zwolle

Feyenoord 2-0 PSV Eindhoven

Willem II 2-2 Roda JC

(Willem II win 5-4 on penalties)

Semi Final Draw

AZ Alkmaar vs FC Twente

Feyenoord vs Willem II


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The 1st round proper of the 2017/18 edition of the KNVB Beker got underway on Tuesday evening in Vlaardingen where FC Den Bosch withstood a late scare to book a place in the next round of the competition.

Despite making a slow start to the campaign, the Eerste Divisie side appeared to be cruising after Bart Biemans handed the visitors the lead seven minutes after the restart before substitute, Sven Blummel doubled their advantage in the 64th minute and then added a third for Willy Boessen’s side nine minutes from time.

However, despite their fifth tier status, Zwaluwen rallied late on to net what looked to be a mere consolation through Ricardo Merrelaar four minutes from time.

Yet, buoyed by the goal, the hosts continued to press and found a second, this time from the spot, in the second minute of added time through Jesper Gudde.

However, despite the home side’s valiant late surge, it was Boessen’s side that held on to book their place in the 2nd round.

Despite reaching the semi-final stage of last year’s competition, Sparta Rotterdam’s involvement proved to a be a brief one this time around as Alex Pastoor’s side became the first big scalp to be taken by lower league opposition – a Dylan Seys strike nineteen minutes into the second half at the Mandemakers Stadion ultimately proving enough to secure struggling RKC Waalwijk’s passage through to the next round.

Sparta’s exit proved to be just the beginning of the shocks on Tuesday evening as undermanned Eerste Divisie outfit, FC Dordrecht also came unstuck at the hands of lower league opposition – Tweede Divisie outfit, GVVV sending their more illustrious guests crashing out of the competition thanks to a lone Soufiane Laghmouchi goal in the 66th minute.

Things went from bad to worse for Gerard de Nooijer’s side when Feyenoord loanee, Gustavo Hamer was given his marching orders by referee, Laurens Gerrets after picking up his second booking of the match seven minutes from time.

Another Eerste Divisie side were sent tumbling out of the competition to lower league opposition in Werkendam where Tweede Divisie outfit Kozakken Boys saw off De Graafschap 4-3 on penalties – Ahmad Mendes Moreira dispatching the decisive spot-kick after the game ended a goal-a-piece in normal time with Mahmut Sonmez opening the scoring for the hosts twelve minutes before the break before Sjoerd Ars clawed Henk de Jong’s men back onto level terms twenty one minutes into the second half.

However, one side who did manage to a avert a potential banana skin were Fortuna Sittard, who having begun their Eerste Divisie campaign in impressive fashion – taking ten points from a possible fifteen thus far, saw off previously unbeaten Hoofdklasse (Zaterdag A) leaders, Noordwijk thanks to a 69th minute effort from 21-year-old French forward, Djibril Dianessy despite Sunday Oliseh’s side later being reduced to ten men in the fifth minute of added time when referee, Clay Ruperti gave Jorrit Smeets his marching orders.

Elsewhere, it was Almere City that emerged victorious from their all-Eerste Divisie tie with high-flying hosts, FC Oss on Tuesday evening – Ajax loanee, Leroy Owusu putting Jack de Gier’s troops into an eighteenth minute lead before Arsenio Valpoort doubled the visitor’s advantage twenty minutes into the second half.

Despite finding themselves a goal down to Tweede Divisie outfit, Barendrecht after Daniel Esajas put the home side ahead with his second of the season just short of the quarter hour mark, previously winless Go Ahead Eagles put their poor early season form behind them to score three goals and secure a place in the next round of the competition.

After their capitulation at the hands of Cambuur on Friday evening, coach, Leon Vlemmings was looking for a response from his troops but despite, Pieter Langedijk clawing the visitors back on level terms after rounding home ‘keeper, Marc van Splunter on the half hour mark the tie remained finely poised until sixteen minutes from time when Sam Hendriks edged the Deventer-based outfit ahead – poking the ball past Splunter after latching on to an incisive through ball from Juventus loanee, Stefano Beltrame.

Any thoughts of a comeback by the hosts were dealt a severe blow when full back, Yorik van Deelen was shown a straight red card by referee, Sander van der Eijk just three minutes later before Hendriks popped up to seal the away side’s place in the next round of the competition with his second of the night and sixth of the season four minutes from time.

After making it as far as the final four of the competition last time out before being dispatched on penalties by eventual runners-up, AZ Alkmaar, SC Cambuur made short work of rock-bottom Helmond Sport in their all-Eerste Divisie encounter on Tuesday evening – hitting their struggling hosts for five.

Having accounted for both Ajax and FC Utrecht on their way to the semi-final stage of last season’s competition, the away side wasted little time in breaking the deadlock – Kevin van Kippersluis putting Marinus Dijkhuizen’s side into an eleventh minute lead before doubling the visitor’s advantage seven minutes after the restart.

Despite Gevero Markiet cutting the visitor’s lead in half twenty two minutes from time, any hope the home side may have harboured of turning things around were dispelled ten minutes later when Karim Rossi restored the away side’s two-goal advantage before first, Issa Kallon in the 81st and then substitute, Nigel Robertha a minute from time, added a touch of the emphatic to the eventual score-line.

Despite having just three points to their name and lying third off bottom in the Tweede Divisie standings, it took a pair of late strikes for visiting, Heracles to eventually see off Rijnsburgse Boys at the Sportpark Middelmors on Tuesday evening – skipper, Joey Pelupessy breaking the deadlock nineteen minutes from time for John Stegeman’s side before substitute, Vincent Vermeij gave the Eredivisie side some much-needed breathing room in the second minute of added time.

Elsewhere, in another all Eerste Divisie clash, with just one point and two places separating visitors, NEC Nijmegen from hosts, FC Emmen, it was the away side who progressed despite falling behind to an Alexander Bannink strike on the half hour mark at the JenS Vesting Stadion.

It took Sven Braken just four minutes to restore parity before the 24-year-old forward edged the away side into the lead four minutes into the second half with his fifth of the campaign and when Arnaut Groeneveld added a third just four minutes later, there was no coming back for the hosts.

A solitary strike from substitute, Mart Lieder – who had barely been on the field a minute after replacing Dennis van Vaerenbergh, proved just enough to book FC Eindhoven’s place in the 2nd round of the competition at the expense of fifth tier outfit, Sparta Nijkerk at the Sportpark De Ebbenhorst.

Tweede Divisie outfit, De Treffers also accounted for fifth tier opposition by sending Genemuiden packing.

Despite falling behind to an Omar Kavak effort shortly after the half hour mark, the away side found themselves back on level terms five minutes before the break thanks to an effort from former Excelsior man, Cedric Badjeck before Nick de Bondt edged Anton Janssen’s side ahead in the 75th minute and Badjeck added his second of the night ten minutes from time.

Eerste Divisie strugglers, FC Volendam eventually saw off fourth tier Quick Boys at the Sportpark Nieuw Zuid despite finding themselves a goal-down with just five minutes gone in Katwijk – Yordi Teijsse putting the Derde Divisie outfit into an early lead before things went from bad to worse for the visitors when referee, Edwin van de Graaf gave Luis Pedro his marching orders eleven minutes before the break.

However, a goal from Teije ten Den in the second minute of added time at the end of the first half saw Micha Salden’s side emerge from the interval with a spring in their step – the undermanned visitors making light of being reduced to ten men by taking the lead eight minutes after the resumption through Nick Runderkamp before substitute, Dylan Mertens added a third for the away side a minute from time.

Tuesday evening’s cup action was concluded with a five-goal thriller at De Geusselt where last year’s beaten finalists, AZ Alkmaar edged out Eerste Divisie high-flyers, MVV Maastricht.

Having raced into a seventh minute lead through 20-year-old Greek defender, Panteleimon Hatzidiakos, the away side soon found themselves back on level terms when Belgian centre half, Samy Mmaee levelled for the hosts eleven minutes before the break.

However, a Wout Weghorst strike two minutes before the interval would see John van den Brom’s side edge ahead before Mmaee popped up to level proceedings once more nineteen minutes from time.

Yet there was to be no giant killing as the visitor’s in-form forward, Weghorst claimed his second of the night and eighth of the campaign eight minutes from time to book his side’s place in the next round of the competition.

Wednesday evening’s cup action got underway with remarkable scenes at the Sportpark Olympiaplein in Amsterdam where fifth tier outfit, AVV Swift sent cup holders, Vitesse Arnhem tumbling out of the competition 5-3 on penalties – Mark Ruijter converting the winning spot-kick to send Bart Logchies’ side through to the next round after the tie had earlier ended goalless.

At the same time Roda JC recorded their first win of the season in some style – hitting Derde Divisie outfit, Capelle for five at the Sportpark’t Slot.

Despite losing their opening five games of the season, it took the visitors, who are currently rock-bottom of the Eredivisie table, just six minutes to break the deadlock through German forward, Dani Schahin.

Robert Molenaar’s troops to doubled their advantage seven minutes later through veteran midfielder, Nathan Rutjes before Mario Engels added a third for the visitors five minutes before the break.

With the game long-over as a contest, the away side would add a touch of the emphatic to the score-line seven minutes from time with two goals in two minutes from 22-year-old substitute, Celestin Djim Ndogo.

A Kasper Dolberg hat-trick helped Ajax make short work of Derde Divisie strugglers, Scheveningen as Marcel Keizer’s side hit their fourth tier opposition for five.

Having found themselves back at the Cars Jeans Stadion for the second time in four days after dropping two points at the hands of ADO Den Haag at the same venue on Sunday afternoon, it took the away side just five minutes to break the deadlock – Dolberg opening his goal-scoring account for the campaign with a drive from range before the visitors doubled their advantage three minutes before the break thanks to a header from Siem de Jong – the Dutch international capping his first appearance since returning to the club from Newcastle United at the end of August with a goal.

The game was effectively over as a contest when Ruben Koorndijk put through his own net from close range as the full back attempted to prevent David Neres from tapping a square ball from Siem de Jong into an empty net twelve minutes into the second half and, despite an emotional Barry Rog pulling one back for the hosts five minutes later, a late Dolberg-double rounded off a comprehensive victory for Keizer’s side with the Dane’s third of the evening coming from the spot five minutes from time following a foul on Neres by the unlucky Koorndijk.

Elsewhere, De Dijk came out on top in their all-Tweede Divisie clash with HHC.

Things had looked to be going the way of the visitors when Tiemen van Hezel put Gert Jan Karsten’s men into the ascendancy shortly before the half hour mark.

With three places and one point separating De Dijk in eighth from their guests in fifth, this was always going to be a close affair and so it proved as Nabil El Gourari restored parity for the hosts just six minutes into the second half before Harry Zwarthoed popped up with what ultimately proved to be the winner for the home side eighteen minutes from time.

At the same time, promotion-chasing Tweede Divisie outfit, Katwijk made short work of their fifth tier guests, Ter Leede – hitting the Hoofdklasse side for four at the Sportpark de Krom.

Having won each of their three league games thus far, the hosts broke the deadlock two minutes before the break through former Barnet forward, Marciano Mengerink.

Kilian Berkhout then doubled the home side’s advantage five minutes after the restart and the 22-year-old then added a third for Dick Schreuder’s side just after the hour mark before substitute, Mike van den Ban made it four eighteen minutes from time.

With a number of notable names already bundled out of this year’s competition by lower league opposition there was yet more giant killing afoot in Groesbeek where hosts, Achilles ’29 accounted for undermanned NAC Breda in a seven-goal thriller.

There was little indication of the remarkable scenes that were to unfold when Rai Vloet silenced the modest home crowd inside the Sportpark De Heikant by opening the scoring for the visitors with just seven minutes on the clock.

However, following their relegation from the Eerste Divisie last term, life in the third tier of Dutch football has begun well for Eric Meijers’ side who sit fourth in the standings – two points adrift of Tweede Divisie leaders, IJsselmeervogels and the home side were back on level terms just six minutes later through 19-year-old midfielder, Imran Oulad Omar.

Yet, when Estonian midfielder, Karol Mets restored the away side’s advantage with twenty five minutes gone things looked to be going the way of the Eredivisie side once more.

That was until the hour mark when referee, Jeroen Manschot handed the hosts a penalty which Boy van de Beek duly converted from the spot before former Willem II forward, Niels Wouters put the home side into the lead for the first time four minutes later.

With Shuremy Felomina having remarkably added a fourth for the Tweede Divisie outfit sixteen minutes from time, things soon went from bad to worse for Stijn Vreven’s side who found themselves reduced to ten men when goal-scorer Vloet was given his marching orders by Manschot after picking up a straight red card six minutes from time.

Despite the away side eventually finding a third through Danish substitute, Thomas Enevoldsen in the fourth minute of added time, the hosts would hold on to book their place in the next round of the competition.

Meanwhile, another giant killing was taking place in Noordwijkerhout where Tweede Divisie strugglers VVSB put their poor start to the season behind them to notch their first win of the campaign against Eerste Divisie outfit, Telstar.

There was little indication of the remarkable scenes that were to follow when the visitors took the lead through Reading loanee, Andrija Novakovich with just seven minutes gone before the home side then found themselves reduced to ten men when referee, Stan Teuben gave centre half, Peet van der Slot his marching orders in the 21st minute.

However, eight minutes before the break the home side clawed their way back onto level terms through Mohamed El Osrouti before the 25-year-old edged Mark Schenning’s side ahead eight minutes into the second half.

Despite playing with ten men, the home side found a third through Tim de Rijk eleven minutes from time before Teuben handed Osrouti the chance to complete his hat-trick from the spot in the second minute of added time.

Elsewhere, another Tweede Divisie outfit, Koninklijke HFC, were given a run for their money by fifth tier side, Staphorst.

Despite Kevin Sterling handing the away side the lead five minutes into the second half, an own goal by visiting centre half, Wessel Boer saw the home side back on level terms just five minutes later.

However, just seconds after being pegged back, Ted Verdonkschot’s side restored their advantage through Roy Castien before former NAC Breda midfielder, Gert Jan Tamerus handed the away side a two-goal cushion ten minutes later to ultimately secure the Tweede Divisie outfit’s place in the next round of the competition despite Rob Mijnheer pulling one back for the hosts sixteen minutes from time.

At the same time, in a re-run of their encounter in the league just four days earlier, Heerenveen once again emerged victorious by two goals to one against hosts, Excelsior at the Van Donge & De Roo Stadion – an early double from Kosovar international, Arber Zeneli inside the opening quarter of an hour setting Jurgen Streppel’s side on course to secure a place in the next round of the competition.

Things might have been different for the hosts had Zakaria El Azzouzi not seen his 67th minute penalty saved by Heerenveen glovesman, Wouter van der Steen before Mike van Duinen showed the man on loan from Ajax how to do it by pulling one back for the home side from the spot sixteen minutes from time after referee, Dennis Higler had adjudged Denzel Dumfries to have handled the ball inside the area.

Having secured their first points of the season by hitting FC Utrecht for four on Sunday, FC Twente made short work of the side currently propping up the Derde Divisie (Zaterdag) table, ONS Sneek at the Zuidersportpark.

With their early season goal-scoring woes now firmly behind them, it took Rene Hake’s men just a quarter of an hour to take the lead through former Newcastle United midfielder, Haris Vučkić before Malaga loanee, Adnane Tighadouini doubled the away side’s advantage nine minutes before the break.

The game was effectively over as a contest when Michael Liendl added a third for the visitors twelve minutes into the second half despite Cutrick Gonzalez pulling one back for Chris de Wagt’s side just after the hour mark.

Meanwhile, FC Utrecht put Sunday’s four-goal drubbing in Enschede behind them by hitting Ajax Amateurs for six at the Amsterdam ArenA.

Two goals from Cyriel Dessers inside the opening twenty three minutes got Erik ten Hag’s side off to a flying start before Yassin Ayoub added a third for the visitors just two minutes later as their fifth tier opposition struggled to keep pace.

Lukas Görtler notched his first goal in a Utrecht shirt to make it four for the away side on the half hour mark before Manchester United loanee, Matthew Willock notched his first since arriving from Old Trafford in just his second game for the club just two minutes later with a delightful lob while a comprehensive first half performance was rounded off by Zakaria Labyad, who made it six on the stroke of half time with his third of the campaign.

It was a similar story at the Sportpark Orderbos where Willem II put their own early season struggles behind them to hit relegation threatened, Apeldoorn for four.

Four goals either side of the interval saw Erwin van de Looi’s side through to the next round of the competition with AZ Alkmaar loanee, Ben Rienstra opening the scoring in the 41st minute before a double from Olympiakos loanee, Konstantinos Tsimikas either side of the break and a 56th minute strike by Fran Sol ended the game as a contest.

Having taken just a single point from their opening three league games, the hosts currently sit second from bottom in the Hoofdklasse (Zaterdag B) standings. However, Jurgen Schefczyk’s side did restore some pride thanks to a Sander Krijns strike just after the hour and a Steven van Es effort thirteen minutes from time.

Meanwhile, it took a penalty shoot-out for Tweede Divisie strugglers, FC Lisse to see off fifth tier outfit HSV Hoek at the Sportpark Ter Specke.

A 49th minute strike by Martin van Eeuwijk looked to have sealed the home side’s place in the next round of the competition until Sidy Ceesay popped up with an equaliser for Jannes Tant’s side in the third minute of added time to send the game into extra time which looked to be going the way of the visitors when former Gent midfielder, Rik Impens gave the away side the lead shortly before the break in extra time.

However, despite van Eeuwijk restoring parity two minutes after the restart, Robbert de Ruiter’s side were left hanging on at the end when referee, Marc Nagtegaal gave Justin Valk his marching orders after the Lisse forward picked up a second booking in the 116th minute.

In the end, after a nail-biting shoot-out, experienced Belgian defender, Zinou Chergui’s miss saw the home side squeeze through to the next round of the competition.

Wednesday’s cup action was concluded at De Kuip where 2016 cup winners, Feyenoord got back to winning ways by eventually seeing off the challenge of a resurgent ADO Den Haag – Steven Berghuis converting a Bilal Başaçıkoğlu cross to break the deadlock for the hosts seventeen minutes from time before Donny Gorter, having handled the ball on the line, was given his marching orders for the visitors after picking up a second booking of the match from referee, Pol van Boekel, leaving Michiel Kramer to dispatch the resultant spot-kick to seal Feyenoord’s place in the next round of the competition in the 82nd minute.

The remaining four ties all took place on Thursday evening with the action beginning at the Sportpark De Meern in Utrecht where the side currently rock-bottom of the Derde Divisie (Zondag) table, VV De Meern, suffered a fifth successive loss as they were hit for five by PEC Zwolle.

It took just eleven minutes for Stef Nijland to break the deadlock for John van ‘t Schip’s side before Younes Namli doubled the visitor’s advantage just after the half hour mark.

The away side were given the opportunity to go in at the break three goals to the good when referee, Serdar Gözübüyük awarded van ‘t Schip’s men a penalty, which Piotr Parzyszek duly converted six minutes before the interval.

Things went from bad to worse for the home side after the break – Wouter Marinus making it four twenty three minutes from time before in-form forward, Younes Mokhtar rounded off the scoring by converting the visitor’s second spot-kick of the evening to bag his fifth goal his last five games.

The second game of the evening took place at the nearby Stadion Galgenwaard, with another fourth tier outfit, USV Hercules playing host to FC Groningen.

Despite their fourth tier status, it was the hosts who struck first with Fouad Belarbi breaking the deadlock with just eleven minutes gone.

However, having clawed their way back onto level terms through Oussama Idrissi five minutes before the break, Ernest Faber’s troops edged ahead a minute after the restart through half time substitute, Ritsu Doan.

Any hope the home side may have harboured of getting back into the tie faded when Juninho Bacuna added a third with a well-placed free kick for the visitors in the 65th minute before Australian international, Ajdin Hrustic found a fourth for the away side fourteen minutes from time.

Having fallen behind early in the second half, Eric Speelziek’s side never really looked like troubling their illustrious guests thereafter despite Leroy Oehlers bagging the host’s second of the evening with four minutes left to play.

Three first half goals proved enough for Eredivisie new boys, VVV Venlo to see off the challenge of another fourth tier outfit, Blauw Geel ’38 at the Prins Willem Alexander Sportpark in Veghel.

It took the away side, who, at long last, handed Real Madrid loanee, Mink Peeters his much anticipated debut, just under half an hour to break the deadlock through another loanee, PSV Eindhoven’s Damian van Bruggen.

Maurice Steijn’s men soon doubled their advantage through yet another loan signing – Borussia Dortmund loanee, Etienne Amenyido adding VVV’s second eight minutes before the break before Australian international, Terry Antonis effectively ended the tie as a contest four minutes later by adding the visitor’s third.

The one remaining tie in the opening round of this year’s competition took place at the Sportpark De Putter Eng where PSV Eindhoven hit fifth tier outfit, SDC Putten for four.

It took just six minutes for Phillip Cocu’s side to break the deadlock against their relegation threatened hosts – out-of-favour Adam Maher stepping out of the shadows to bag his first goal for the club since netting in PSV’s six-goal thrashing of Cambuur on 1st May 2016.

The visitors doubled their advantage just after the hour mark – Derrick Luckassen heading home his first goal for the club following the 22-year-old’s summer switch from AZ Alkmaar before Maher volleyed home his second of the night twenty minutes from time.

With Luuk de Jong absent in the aftermath of the rib injury suffered at the hands of Steven Berghuis in Sunday’s win over league leaders, Feyenoord, 20-year-old forward, Sam Lammers was handed a start by Cocu and duly repaid his coach’s faith by sliding home his side’s fourth with eleven minutes left to play.


Zwaluwen 2-3 FC Den Bosch

RKC Waalwijk 1-0 Sparta Rotterdam

GVVV 1-0 FC Dordrecht

FC Oss 0-2 Almere City

Noordwijk 0-1 Fortuna Sittard

Barendrecht 1-3 Go Ahead Eagles

Helmond Sport 1-5 SC Cambuur

Rijnsburgse Boys 0-2 Heracles

FC Emmen 1-3 NEC Nijmegen

Kozakken Boys 1-1 De Graafschap

(Kozakken Boys win 4-3 on pens)

Sparta Nijkerk 0-1 FC Eindhoven

Genemuiden 1-3 De Treffers

Quick Boys 1-3 FC Volendam

MVV Maastricht 2-3 AZ Alkmaar

Capelle 0-5 Roda JC

AVV Swift 0-0 Vitesse Arnhem

(AVV Swift win 5-3 on penalties)

Scheveningen 1-5 AFC Ajax

De Dijk 2-1 HHC

Katwijk 4-0 Ter Leede

Achilles ’29 4-3 NAC Breda

VVSB 4-1 Telstar

Excelsior 1-2 SC Heerenveen

Staphorst 2-3 Koninklijke HFC

ONS Sneek 1-3 FC Twente

Ajax Amateurs 0-6 FC Utrecht

Apeldoorn 2-4 Willem II

FC Lisse 2-2 HSV Hoek

(FC Lisse win 5-4 on penalties) 

Feyenoord 2-0 ADO Den Haag

VV De Meern 0-5 PEC Zwolle

USV Hercules 2-4 FC Groningen

Blauw Geel ’38 0-3 VVV Venlo

SDC Putten 0-4 PSV Eindhoven


2nd Round Draw

FC Volendam vs PSV Eindhoven

Fortuna Sittard vs Go Ahead Eagles

Heracles vs FC Lisse

Almere City vs AZ Alkmaar

NEC Nijmegen vs Achilles ‘29

PEC Zwolle vs Kozakken Boys

VVV Venlo vs FC Utrecht

Katwijk vs VVSB

GVVV vs Koninklijke HFC

De Dijk vs AFC Ajax

FC Twente vs FC Eindhoven

Feyenoord vs AVV Swift

RKC Waalwijk vs De Treffers

FC Den Bosch vs SC Cambuur

Willem II vs SC Heerenveen

Roda JC vs FC Groningen


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AZ Alkmaar 0-2 Vitesse Arnhem

De Kuip, Rotterdam

Sunday 30th April 2017

Vitesse Arnhem’s talismanic forward, Ricky van Wolfswinkel bagged a late brace to lead his side to KNVB Beker glory at the expense of AZ Alkmaar in the final which was held in Rotterdam on Sunday evening – the 28-year-old guiding the club to it’s first major trophy in it’s 125-year history in the process.

However, despite their grandstand finish to the game, Henk Fraser’s side were second best for much of the opening period and were lucky not to fall behind when, with just three minutes on the clock, a Derrick Luckassen free kick from more than 25 yards rattled Eloy Room’s crossbar.

Yet, despite commanding the majority of the ball, AZ – who last tasted cup glory in 2013, failed to work Room and could only fashion one other clear-cut chance of note before the interval – Wout Weghorst firing wide of the Vitesse ‘keeper’s left hand upright after a slick piece of play by Joris van Overeem had initially released Alireza Jahanbakhsh down the right before the Iranian international’s cut back had found the former Heracles forward in acres of space just outside the box.

Following a lacklustre opening forty five minutes, it was Fraser’s side – making their first final appearance since 1990, who emerged from the interval the brighter – Chelsea loanee, Nathan testing the handling of Dutch international, Tim Krul in the AZ net three minutes into the second half.

Predictably, with the final pitting fifth against sixth in the Eredivisie standings and just a point separating the two in the table, there was little to choose between the sides for much of the second stanza with the game failing to catch fire until twenty minutes from time when Room was called upon to deny a back post header from AZ centre half, Rens van Eijden just seconds after Luckassen had seen a similar effort cleared off the line by Ricky van Wolfswinkel with the Vitesse ‘keeper caught in no-man’s land following a corner from the right.

Despite AZ, who were looking to lift the cup for the fifth time – having secured their final berth via a nail-biting penalty shootout victory over second tier, Cambuur at the start of March, looking the more likely to make the breakthrough, it was Vitesse who, against the run of play, hit the front nine minutes from time when, having stolen a march on the Alkmaar back line, van Wolfswinkel headed a Milot Rashica cross from the right past Krul from close range to become the first Vitesse player to score in the final of the KNVB Beker since Piet van Bochove in 1927.

Shell-shocked, AZ set about attempting to claw their way back onto level terms. But, try as they might, van den Brom’s men failed to fashion any clear-cut opportunities and, instead saw Vitesse double their advantage two minutes from time when a clearance from Fiorentina loanee, Kevin Diks found the run of van Wolfswinkel – who, having taken the ball in his stride , cut inside Ron Vlaar before curling home his 21st of what has thus far been a prolific campaign in front of goal in all competitions for the 28-year-old beyond the reach of Krul to secure, not only a first KNVB Beker triumph for the Arnhem-based outfit – who can now look forward to a place in the group stage of the UEFA Europa League next term as a result, but also the first major trophy in the club’s 125-year existence.

Man of the Match: Ricky van Wolfswinkel.         


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 Semi Final Review

March 1st – 2nd 2017

The semi-final stage of the 2016/17 edition of the KNVB Beker got underway on Wednesday evening at Het Kasteel where Vitesse Arnhem squeezed past hosts, Sparta Rotterdam to book a place in April’s showpiece final for the first time since 1990.

Both sides had bucked recent poor form to record victories last time out ahead of this final four encounter but it was the visitors who, having edged their way back into the UEFA Europa League playoff places after taking all three points from their trip to Go Ahead Eagles on Sunday, hit the front first in this one – Chelsea loanee, Lewis Baker putting Henk Fraser’s side into the ascendancy with thirteen minutes on the clock with a low drive from well outside the area that somehow slipped through the fingers of Sparta ‘keeper, Roy Kortsmit before the 21-year-old doubled the away side’s advantage – netting his fourteenth goal of the season in all competitions from the edge of the area seventeen minutes from time.

Despite their two-goal cushion, the final stages would prove nerve-wracking for Vitesse – a club who have never tasted cup success, after skipper, Guram Kashia diverted a Craig Goodwin cross into his own net just two minutes later.

However, it was the away side who looked the more likely to add to their lead as time slowly expired on the host’s fairy tale cup run – Milot Rashica rattling Kortsmit’s right hand upright twelve minutes from time.

Ultimately Vitesse would deny the three-time cup winner’s the chance to record their first KNVB Beker triumph since 1966 and, in the process, take a step closer to writing their own piece of history in the final at the end of April.

Image result for az tim krul

Thursday’s second semi-final encounter proved to be even tighter than the first with Newcastle United loanee, Tim Krul eventually proving to be the hero for ten-man AZ Alkmaar as John van den Brom’s men squeezed past second tier upstarts Cambuur to join Vitesse in the final.

It has been somewhat of a baptism of fire for Dutch international, Krul who, prior to this encounter, had appeared seven times and conceded a whopping eighteen goals – including eleven over the course of two legs in the club’s UEFA Europa League round of 32 trouncing at the hands of Lyon, since making the switch to Alkmaar after having seen his road to first team football blocked by the good form of Andre Onana during his loan spell at Ajax earlier in the season.

However, despite the host’s being reduced to ten men following the dismissal of Rens van Eijden twelve minutes into extra time, Krul would not only post his first clean sheet since his arrival at the AFAS Stadion but also emerge as the hero in the eventual penalty shoot-out.

Having already accounted for Ajax and FC Utrecht earlier in the competition, Cambuur proved a difficult nut to crack for their more illustrious hosts who, try as they might, could not break the deadlock.

The home side did have the ball in the back of the net three minutes into added time. However, Stijn Wuytens’ effort was ruled out after the video referee adjudged that Levi Garcia had fouled visiting ‘keeper, Leonard Nienhuis as the two went for a cross in the build-up – sending the game into extra time which yielded no goals but did see van Eijden dismissed for a second bookable offence by referee, Kevin Blom, before the tie was ultimately settled from the spot.

With each side having missed two and scored two, Wout Weghorst sent Nienhuis the wrong way with his penalty to set the stage for Krul to turn back the clock and emulate his FIFA World Cup heroics of 2014 by saving Martijn Barto’s spot-kick and booking AZ’s place in the final which will be played at De Kuip on Sunday 30th April.

Results: Semi Finals

Sparta Rotterdam 1-2 Vitesse Arnhem

AZ Alkmaar 0-0 SC Cambuur

(AZ Alkmaar win 3-2 on penalties)

KNVB Beker Final

Sunday 30th April

De Kuip, Rotterdam

AZ Alkmaar vs Vitesse Arnhem


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The quarter final stage of the 2016/17 edition of the KNVB Beker got underway on Tuesday evening at the Kras Stadion where it took a nail-biting penalty shootout for Sparta Rotterdam to squeeze past second tier, Volendam and into the final four of the competition.

After a goalless 90 minutes had elapsed, both sides found the back of the net in the second period of extra time. Thomas Verhaar thought he had secured a semi-final berth for Alex Pastoor’s men three minutes into the second half of extra time only to see Bert Steltenpool level for Robert Molenaar’s promotion chasers two minutes later and, with both sides unable to break the deadlock, the tie was eventually decided from the spot – 18-year-old, Sherel Floranus keeping alive Sparta’s hopes of a first cup triumph since 1966 by tucking home the 16th and ultimately decisive kick of a nervy shootout.

A penalty shootout was also required to decide another tie that pitted first against second tier opposition on Wednesday evening and produced the upset of the round as Cambuur – who sensationally sent Ajax tumbling out of the competition last time out, this time accounted for last season’s beaten cup finalists, FC Utrecht in front of their own fans at the Stadion Galgenwaard.

Things appeared to be going to plan for Erik ten Hag’s men after Ramon Leeuwin gave the hosts the lead just before the half hour mark.

However, the Eredivisie outfit had to rely on an 89th minute equaliser from 18-year-old, Giovanni Troupee to send the tie into extra time after goals from Erik Bakker – two minutes after the restart, and then Martijn Barto in the 67th minute seemed to have booked the Eerste Divisie outfit a place in the final four.

The equaliser was nothing more than the hosts deserved after the home crowd had been left fuming when, having been awarded a penalty with a quarter of an hour remaining after Pol van Boekel pointed to the spot following what the official initially perceived to be a handball, van Boekel then changed his mind following a consultation with the video referee.

Following a goalless extra half an hour, the tie would be decided from the spot – Jamiro burying the 18th and ultimately decisive penalty kick of a nail-biting shootout to secure an unlikely semi-final berth for the second tier outfit whose coaching duo – Sipke Hulshoff and Arne Slot, continue to mastermind what has become a fairy tale cup run for the Leeuwarden-based outfit who reached the semi-finals of the competition for the first time in their history in the most improbable of circumstances after having parted company with previous coach, Rob Maas prior to seeing off TEC earlier in the competition following a poor start to the campaign.

Elsewhere on Wednesday evening, AZ Alkmaar – who last tasted cup success in 2013, booked their own place in the final four of the competition – a back post header by centre half, Derrick Luckassen following a corner by Dabney Dos Santos nineteen minutes from time seeing John van den Brom’s men past high-flying, Heerenveen at the AFAS Stadion.

Image result for vitesse feyenoord

The quarter final stage of the 2016/17 edition of the KNVB Beker was concluded in remarkable fashion on Thursday evening at the GelreDome where hosts, Vitesse Arnhem ensured that there would be no repeat of last year’s cup triumph for holders, Feyenoord.

Two quick-fire strikes in the space of six minutes either side of the hour mark effectively derailed Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s league leaders who saw Guram Kashia head Henk Fraser’s side into the lead ten minutes after the resumption before Adnane Tighadouini doubled the home side’s advantage on 61 minutes after Ricky van Wolfswinkel had initially been denied by the reflexes of Feyenoord’s Aussie ‘keeper, Brad Jones to ultimately seal Vitesse’s place in the final four of the competition for the first time since 2001.

Feyenoord, with Karim El Ahmadi away on African Cup of Nations duty, Tonny Vilhena suspended and skipper, Dirk Kuyt given a rest amongst the substitutes, had begun the tie without any of their first choice midfield trio and saw any hope of securing a first league and cup double since the 1983/84 season gradually fade – being fortunate not to concede a third later in the half when Chelsea loanee, Lewis Baker saw his free kick cannon back off the post.

Results: Quarter Finals

Volendam 1-1 Sparta Rotterdam

(Sparta won 6-5 on penalties)

FC Utrecht 2-2 SC Cambuur

(SC Cambuur won 7-6 on penalties)

AZ Alkmaar 1-0 SC Heerenveen

Vitesse Arnhem 2-0 Feyenoord

Semi Final Draw

AZ Alkmaar vs SC Cambuur

Sparta Rotterdam vs Vitesse Arnhem



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The first round proper of the 2016/17 edition of the KNVB Beker got under way on Tuesday 20th September with Ernest Faber’s, Groningen travelling to the Sportpark ‘t Slot – the home of fourth tier outfit, Capelle writes Steven Davies

Image result for fc groningen vs capelle

The Derde Divisie club, 8th in the Zaterdag table, came into the tie off the back of two successive defeats while by contrast, following a disastrous start to Ernest Faber’s reign – Groningen losing their opening three games of the season before picking up five points from the last nine available, including a first win of the season – a comprehensive five goal hammering of Utrecht last Friday, the Pride of the North were at last heading in the right direction and it came as little surprise that the Eredivisie side continued their recent resurgence at the expense of their fourth tier opponents – Danny Hoesen and Tom van Weert firing the visitors into a two goal lead with just a quarter of an hour on the clock before second half strikes by first, Hans Hateboer just after the hour and then Norwegian, Alexander Sorloth with eleven minutes remaining rounded off a convincing four goal victory and progression into the 2nd round of the competition for the 2015 cup winners.

Elsewhere, Groningen’s neighbours, Cambuur left it late to see off fourth tier, FC Rijnvogels and seal their place in the 2nd round of the competition – Martijn Barto scoring the only goal of the game in the 89th minute to spare the blushes of Rob Maas’ side.

Another second tier outfit, FC Emmen were given a similarly rough ride by Derde Divisie opposition in the form of Scheveningen – the fourth tier side having the audacity to take the lead through Tim Peters before two strikes in seven minutes through first, Cas Peters and then Tim Siekman late in the first half turned the score line on its head.

Yet, the Eerste Divisie side failed to add to their advantage in the second half and it was only when the home side were reduced to ten men – Levi Schwiebbe receiving his second yellow card of the match and with it his marching orders from referee, Laurens Gerrets, that Dick Lukkien’s charges could look forward to the 2nd round draw.

Elsewhere, fellow Eerste Divisie club, Almere City sealed their progress into the 2nd round of the competition at the expense of another Derde Divisie outfit, Rijnsburgse Boys thanks to a goal in either half from Yener Arica.

Another match-up that pitted fourth against second tier opposition took place at the Gemeentelijk Sportpark De Groenendijkse Kampen in Cuijk where JVC put up a brave fight against Michel Vonk’s, SC Telstar – the visitors, who came into the match on the back of a four game winning streak, leaping out to a two-goal lead at half time through first, Mohammed Ajnane and then Macedonian attacker, Denis Mahmudov before being pegged back by a strike from defender, Jorrit Ritzen just after the hour mark to leave the tie on a knife edge until the fourth minute of added time when Liban Abdulahi made the game safe.

Two Eerste Divisie heavyweights in mixed form came head to head at the Rat Varlegh Stadion in Breda where two first half goals from Torino Hunte saw VVV Venlo progress at the expense of Marinus Dijkhuizen’s NAC.

Another all Eerste Divisie clash took place at the Kras Stadion in Volendam where the hosts found themselves two goals down to visitors, MVV inside the first 34 minutes following strikes from Luis Pedro and Thomas Verheijdt before Jack Tuijp pulled a goal back for the home side early in the second half.

However, when Joeri Schroijen restored the visitor’s two goal advantage just after the hour mark it appeared that Ron Elsen’s men were heading for the 2nd round only for the 33-year-old, Tuijp to net twice in the space of seven minutes to complete his hat trick and send the game to extra time and then a penalty shoot-out from which the hosts emerged victorious by five spot kicks to four – Florian Loshaj missing the tenth and ultimately decisive spot kick.

Fellow Eerste Divisie outfit, RKC Waalwijk had an altogether easier time of things – dispatching fourth tier, EVV, through second half strikes by Fredua Benson, Pieter Langedijk and Serginho Greene.

Another all-Eerste Divisie encounter saw FC Eindhoven edge out hosts, FC Den Bosch at the Timmermans Infra Stadion De Vliert by the odd goal in five – Mart Lieder opening the scoring in the 11th minute before Arda Havar levelled for the home side on 24 minutes. Lieder restored the visitor’s advantage with eleven minutes remaining but when Mario Bilate brought the home side back on level terms with seven minutes to play it seemed that the game was heading for extra time until PSV loanee, Rai Vloet popped up to snatch a winner in the dying moments for Ricardo Moniz’s men.

Elsewhere, despite there being two divisions between them, a lone Nigel Hasselbaink goal was all that separated Mitchell van der Gaag’s, Excelsior and stubborn Tweede Divisie outfit, Barendrecht.

The first upset of the round came at the Sportpark De Westmaat where IJsselmeervogels dumped out Eerste Divisie side, Achilles ’29 – the home side hitting their more illustrious visitors for three through strikes by Sherwin Grot, Ali Akla and Christiaan van Hussen before substitute, Brian Boogers tucked away a consolation for Eric Meijers’ men with six minutes left on the clock.

Another upset occurred at the Sportpark De Zwaaier where Hemond Sport were hit for three without response by another Tweede Divisie club, Kozakken Boys – Raily Ignacio, Gwaeron Stout and Everton Pires Tavares with the goals that put the third tier outfit into the hat for the 2nd round.

It took a penalty shoot-out to separate third tier, HHC and fifth tier Jodan Boys – the Hoofdklasse outfit surprising their hosts after the game ended 2-2 – Rob van der Leij giving the home side the lead before the visitors had levelled through Fanny Waandels with 20 minutes remaining. With the score level after 90 minutes the game entered extra time where the sides traded a goal a-piece – Adil Akanioui putting the visitors into the ascendancy after 111 minutes only for Andrej Piljic to tie things up two minutes later. After a tension filled penalty shoot-out, Anouar Chairi’s spot kick was enough to see the fifth tier club into the second round – 7-6.

Tuesday’s cup action was concluded at the Abe Lenstra Stadion where it took extra time to separate Jurgen Streppel’s Heerenveen from Eerste Divisie opposition in the form of De Graafschap.

Go Ahead Eagles’ loanee, Elvio van Overbeek put the Eerste Divisie side ahead with 23 minutes to play and looked to have secured a famous win for the second tier side until Henk Veerman popped up with his second goal in as many games with 86 minutes on the clock to send the game into extra time.

However, any thoughts the visitors may have harboured of springing an upset over their Eredivisie hosts were well and truly obliterated as the Friesland outfit rattled in four goals without reply  – Veerman netting his second of the match before strikes by Arber Zeneli, Younes Namli and Stijn Schaars gave the eventual score line a convincing but rather misleading look.

Wednesday’s cup action kicked off at the Sportpark De Biezen in Dongen where Go Ahead Eagles eventually saw off their hosts – finding three goals in the last 13 minutes through Xandro Schenk, Kenny Teijsse and Sam Hendriks having trailed their fourth tier opposition for the majority of the contest after Jorik Mijnhijmer had put the Derde Divisie side into the ascendancy in the 14th minute.

Image result for psv roda jc

Reigning Eredivisie champions, PSV Eindhoven made short work of their visitors from Kerkrade in their all-Eredivisie encounter with Roda JC  – a Davy Propper double along with strikes from Gaston Pereiro and Luciano Narsingh seeing Phillip Cocu’s men safely into the hat for the second round of the competition.

However, it certainly wasn’t all plane sailing for another Eredivisie side, Heracles – who required extra time to see off Tweede Divisie outfit, Excelsior Maassluis after Vincent Vermeij’s 56th minute strike had been cancelled out eight minutes from time by Daan Smith. Yet, extra time proved a bridge too far for the underdogs – Vermeij claiming his second of the game in the 112th minute before Brandley Kuwas ensured John Stegeman’s side’s presence into the second round of the competition three minutes into added time.

Another all-Eredivisie clash took place at the Goffertstadion in Nijmegen where it took a penalty shoot out to separate NEC and visitors, ADO Den Haag who had to wait until extra time before troubling the scoreboard – an own goal by Gregor Breinburg putting the home side ahead in the 105th minute before Gervane Kastaneer brought the men from The Hague back into the contest with 114 minutes on the clock. But, with the sides unable to be separated, it was Zeljko Petrovic’s side that prevailed in the resultant penalty shoot-out.

Eredivisie new boys, Sparta Rotterdam killed off the challenge of their visitors from Dordrecht by half time – strikes from Mart Dijkstra, Thomas Verhaar and an own goal from Joris Kramer effectively ending the tie as a contest despite Alvin Daniels adding a second half consolation for the visitors before goal scorer Verhaar was sent for an early shower with twelve minutes remaining having picked up his second yellow card of the match.

Elsewhere, Tweede Divisie side, VVSB easily saw off fifth tier outfit, Achilles Veen – goals from Maikey Parami, Vladimir Jozic, Giovialli Serbony and Younes Seghrouchni putting the third tier side out of reach with more than a quarter of an hour still to play before Sezer Sulun restored some respect for the Hoofdklasse side in the 81st minute.

A lone strike from Mart van de Gevel was enough to see UNA past visitors, Huizen, while, ASWH surprisingly hit Tweede Divisie outfit, De Treffers for three in the first half of their tie through goals from Peter de Lange, Peter Verhoeve and Bart Deprez to join UNA in the hat for the second round of the competition.

Another shock came at the Sportpark De Westmaat where third tier side, Spakenburg upset Eerste Divisie opposition in the form of Fortuna Sittard by two goals to one – Olivier Pilon and Danny van den Meiracker putting the Tweede Divisie outfit two goals to the good before a late response from Abdelaziz Khalouta made for a tense final quarter of an hour.

Despite posting four goals in their tie with Tweede Divisie side, FC Lieden, AZ Alkmaar had to wait until the dying moments to truly kill off their third tier opposition – Muamer Tankovic giving John van den Brom’s side the lead with 37 minutes on the clock before Mo Bendadi levelled for the hosts on 65 minutes. Yet, despite new signing Iliass Bel Hassani restoring the visitor’s lead just three minutes later, it was only when Bel Hassani netted his second of the game with four minutes remaining that the Eredivisie outfit put the tie out of their host’s reach – Robert Muhren adding a fourth in the third minute of added time.

Despite being rooted to the foot of the Tweede Divisie table, Koninklijke HFC hit fourth tier visitors, OJC Rosmalen for six – Erolind Derguti, Oscar Wilffert, Jeffrey Sam-Sin, Puck Postma and Tim van Soest (who bagged a brace) were all on target for the hosts whose visitors could only manage a lone Frank van Mosselveld strike in response.

Another side who put their league struggles aside to post a sizable score were PEC Zwolle. Despite languishing at the foot of the Eredivisie standings, Ron Jans’ men hit their fourth tier hosts, DVS ’33 for four – a double from Nicolai Brock-Madsen, a penalty from Bram van Polen and an Anass Achahbar strike ensured that the 2014 cup winners would be in the hat for the second round before Kay Velda netted a consolation for the hosts with a minute to go.

Katwijk ensured that they would also be in the bag for the 2nd round of the competition by seeing off Derde Divisie strugglers Harkemase Boys by two goals to one – the visitors surprising their third tier hosts by taking the lead through Bjorn Adams shortly before the hour before the Tweede Divisie side turned the score line on its head with goals from first, Robbert Susan and then, Mike van den Ban deep into added time to seal progression to the second round of the competition.

The final match on Wednesday saw Peter Bosz ring the changes ahead of Ajax’s second meeting of the season with Willem II – the visitors having remarkably come away from the Amsterdam ArenA with all three points on 20th August .

However, there was to be no repeat of that extraordinary feat by Erwin van de Looi’s side as de Godenzonen hit the men from Tilburg for five without reply – Riechedly Bazoer, debutant, Matthijs de Ligt, Hakim Ziyech,  and a free kick a-piece from Lasse Schone and Abdelhak Nouri doing the damage for the hosts who also gave a debut to highly touted youngster, Frenkie de Jong – the 19-year-old replacing Bazoer for the final ten minutes of the contest.

Thursday’s cup action began at De Grolsch Veste in Enschede where Erik ten Hag’s Utrecht finally recorded their first victory of the season at the expense of their hosts, FC Twente.

Ajax loanee, Richairo Zivkovic put the visitors ahead in the 17th minute, but the hosts were back on level terms early in the second period – Manchester City loanee, Enes Unal netting with 54 minutes on the clock.

However, ten Hag’s men weren’t to be denied their first win of what has been a torrid start to the season – Sebastien Haller restoring the visitor’s advantage with two minutes left to play before Zivkovic ensured that the 2016 finalists would be in the hat for the second round draw by netting his second of the game and third in two games deep into added time.

Elsewhere, Henk Fraser’s Vitesse Arnhem ran riot at Derde Divisie outfit, De Dijk – hitting the fourth tier side for seven with goals from Chelsea loanee, Lewis Baker, Kelvin Leerdam, Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Milot Rashica, Arshak Koryan and a double from Adnane Tighadouini. The hosts had briefly made a game of it when Harry Zwarthoed made the score 2-1 four minutes before the half time interval. Yet, by the time Dennis Kaars netted in the 67th minute to make the score 5-2, any chance of an upset was long gone.

Another side to run riot in front of goal on Thursday night was Tweede Divisie side, TEC who put five past Derde Divisie opposition in the form of HSC ’21 – Jos Peltzer, Jip Bartels, Kay Huijgens and a double from Wimilio Vink putting the visitors out of sight before Cenk Uguz responded for the hosts with eleven minutes remaining.

Thursday’s cup action was concluded at De Kuip where Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s unbeaten cup holders began their defence of the trophy at home to Eerste Divisie strugglers, FC Oss – who came into this encounter with the Eredivisie leaders off the back of having recorded just their second win of the season – hitting FC Eindhoven for six just under a week earlier.

Against the odds, it was the underdogs who silenced the previously partisan home support when Tom Boere tapped the ball into an empty net following a collision between visiting forward, Istvan Bakx and Feyenoord ‘keeper, Brad Jones.

However, the hosts were back on level terms just 9 minutes later – Watford loanee, Steven Berghuis beating Oss ‘keeper Ronald Koeman low to his near post with a rasping drive.

Yet, the floodgates failed to open thereafter – Feyenoord finding their lowly visitors in stubborn mood until their impressive resolve was broken in the 68th minute – Michiel Kramer notching his first goal of the season before the hosts put the game out of sight with further goals from Bilal Basacikoglu in the 76th minute and substitute, Nicolai Jorgensen deep into added time to maintain the Rotterdam giants’ 100% start to the season and book their reigning cup holder’s place in the second round of the competition.


Capelle 0-4 Groningen

Rijnvogels 0-1 Cambuur

Scheveningen 1-2 Emmen

Rijnsburgse Boys 0-2 Almere City

JVC Cuijk 1-3 SC Telstar

 NAC Breda 0-2 VVV Venlo

Volendam 3-3 MVV Maastricht (Volendam win on pens)

EVV 0-3 RKC Waalwijk

Den Bosch 2-3 FC Eindhoven

Barendrecht 0-1 Excelsior

IJsselmeervogels 3-1 Achilles ‘29

Kozakken Boys 3-0 Helmond Sport

HHC 2-2 Jodan Boys (Jodan Boys win on pens)

Heerenveen 5-1 De Graafschap (AET)

Dongen 1-3 Go Ahead Eagles

PSV Eindoven 4-0 Roda JC

Excelsior Maassluis 1-3 Heracles (AET)

NEC Nijmegen 1-1 ADO Den Haag (ADO win on pens)

Sparta Rotterdam 3-1 FC Dordrecht

Achilles Veen 1-4 VVSB

UNA 1-0 Huizen

De Treffers 0-3 ASWH

Spakenburg 2-1 Fortuna Sittard

Lienden 1-4 AZ Alkmaar

Koninklijke HFC 6-1 OJC Rosmalen

DVS ’33 1-4 PEC Zwolle

Katwijk 2-1 Harkemase Boys

Ajax 5-0 Willem II

FC Twente 1-3 FC Utrecht

De Dijk 2-7 Vitesse Arnhem

HSC ’21 1-5 TEC

Feyenoord 4-1 FC Oss


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KNVB BEKER FINAL Preview & Betting Tips


Sunday 3rd May



Ron Jans has big game experience as he leads his side into yet another final searching for his third trophy in just over twelve months as PEC Zwolle face FC Groningen in the KNVB Beker showdown at De Kuip. Looking to make a profit from the match, Will Burns discusses on what bets show the most value this coming Sunday afternoon in Rotterdam.

Zwolle can thank playmaker Jesper Drost for yet another successful season. The team currently sits in seventh in the Europa League playoff positions and the 22-year-old has been involved in more goals during this season’s Eredivisie campaign than any other player in the squad, notching eight goals with seven assists.

Attacking midfielder Stef Nijland, whom Jans has employed as a striker for part of the season, is the team’s top scorer on 11 goals. Czech international Tomas Necid is joint second with Drost on eight goals apiece.

Just below them in eighth is Sunday’s opposition, Edwin van der Looi’s FC Groningen. The Pride of the North are undefeated in the last six games which has helped sit on the edge of the playoffs themselves, however if they were to lose on Sunday, they would enter in place of Zwolle, who would qualify automatically for the tournament outright.

Van der Looi has relied heavily on Tjaronn Chery and Michael de Leeuw for goals this season, with both attackers top the tally charts on 14 each. Zwolle will also have to be aware of the aerial threat of Brazilian centre-back Eric Botteghin, who has headed three goals this term and can be a real hazard at attacking set-pieces.

In an ironic twist, Zwolle and Groningen meet next weekend in the penultimate group of the games in the Eredivisie season.


Zwolle just have a knack of coming up big in the big games and after defeating the mighty Ajax 5-1 in last year’s final, Jans’ side will be hopeful of retaining the trophy and at a handsome 31/20 that looks a great bet at Bet Victor. Groningen are just outside that at 17/20 with the draw on 90 minutes valued at 12/5.

One thing for sure, looking at the goals markets, this game should see the goalkeepers tested often. Zwolle have only kept one clean sheet in their last 12 matches, with Groningen going one better with two shutouts in the same amount of games. On that note, Both Teams to Score is coming in at a decent 4/6. If your feeling really lucky why not combine Zwolle and BTTS for a massive 19/5.


Zwolle to win – 31/20

Both Teams to Score – 4/6

Zwolle to win with Both Teams to Score – 19/5

All odds are with Bet Victor and may vary throughout the week leading up to Sunday’s match. Bet Victor offers the best odds for football, click here to join and claim up to £25 in free bets for all new customers.


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