Tag Archives: Aberdeen

EUROPA LEAGUE: FC Groningen 1-2 Aberdeen






Aberdeen win 2-1 on aggregate

FC Groningen crash out of the Europa League at their first hurdle after Derek McInnes led his Aberdeen side to a 2-1 win thanks to first half goals through frontmen Adam Rooney and Niall McGinn.

It was an exciting start to the game inside the Euroborg and the hosts were unlucky not be ahead after just four minutes. From a Nick van der Velden corner, Johan Kappelhof rose above everyone at the back post but Aberdeen’s Jonny Hayes nodded off the line.

A few minutes later, Groningen had another golden opportunity to grab the lead but Serbian attacker Filip Kostic dragged his shot wide after he had worked hard to get himself through on goal.

The game slowed down until 24 minutes when Peter Pawlett, tricky throughout, jinked his way into the box and Brazilian defender Eric Botteghin clumsy tripped the striker. Polish referee Daniel Stefanski pointed straight to the spot and Adam Rooney sent Sergio Padt the opposite way to give the Dons the lead.

Rooney was involved in the second goal on 33 minutes. The striker held off the challenge of Kappelhof and lobbed Padt but the ball clipped the cross bar and bounced out. The Groningen defence were statuesque as they waited for the foul on Kappelhof to be awarded. Niall McGinn pounced on the rebound to slot past the keeper to double Aberdeen’s advantage.

The home side were given a lifeline just before half-time as a pin point accurate cross from Nick van der Velden found Maikel Kieftenbeld at the back post to power a header past Jamie Langfield who will be disappointed after getting a hand to it.

At half-time, Edwin van der Looi replaced the ineffective Danny Hoesen and Maikel Kieftenbeld with attacking pairing of Jarchinio Antonia and Michael De Leeuw to take the game to Aberdeen.

Just past the hour mark, Aberdeen had Langfield to thank for keeping the 2-1 advantage. After a great touch and flick into De Leeuw from Van der Velden, the substitute looked destined to grab the equaliser but the veteran keeper rushed out and forced the ball away with his feet. The groans around the Euroborg were drowning out the cheers from the 1,100 travelling Aberdeen fans.

Those travelling supporters had a massive sign of relief when Kostic worked his magic down the left wing and drove a low cross into the box. With De Leeuw arriving at the back post, Mark Reynolds got across to stick a leg out and force the ball behind for a corner. Replays showed that Reynolds was very lucky not to push the ball into his own net.

The hosts began pushing knowing they needed to two goals to send their fans home happy. However, the Eredivisie side were halted by the wall of red shirts and Groningen were reduced to long range efforts which Langfield kept at bay.

At the full-time whistle the Euroborg ended disappointed and the strife of the Europa League playoffs for Groningen last season came to no avail. Aberdeen progress to play La Liga side Real Sociedad in the third qualifying round to face last season’s Eredivisie top scorer, Alfred Finnbogason.


FC GRONINGEN: Padt, Hateboer, Botteghin, Kappelhof, Burnet (Van Nieff 62), Kieftenbeld (Antonia 46), Chery, Lindgren, Van der Velden, Hoesen (De Leeuw 46), Kostic.

SUBS NOT USED: Van der Vlag, Magnasco, Hiariej, Islamovic.

GOALS: Kieftenbeld 44.

BOOKINGS: Lindgren 63.

ABERDEEN: Langfield, Logan, Anderson, Reynolds, Considine, Jack, Flood (Low 90), McGinn, Hayes, Pawlett (Robson 66), Rooney (Goodwillie 74).

SUBS NOT USED: Brown, Murray, Taylor, Smith, Robson.

GOALS: Rooney 26P, McGinn 33.

BOOKINGS: Hayes 72.


Click the name above to follow Will on Twitter.

TotalDutchFootball.com    WorldFootballWeekly.com

EUROPA LEAGUE PREVIEW: FC Groningen vs. Aberdeen






WhiScottish Police are set to travel with Aberdeen fans to the Netherlands in an effort to control any trouble before and after the second qualifying round Europa League match-up against FC Groningen. There is expected to be some fireworks on the field as both teams try to qualify for the third round qualifying game to be played at the end of the month.

Groningen will be favorites having held the Dons to a scoreless draw in the first leg, at Pittodrie. The Scottish outfit have new summer signing David Goodwillie to call upon with an eye on finding a goal to see them through. Aberdeen will have to curb the influence of the Dutch side’s talisman, Filip Kostic, if they are to stand a chance and forcing playmaker Tjaronn Cherry to cough up possession will be key for the visitors.

You can expect Groningen to take the game to their opponents and expect Danny Hoesen to be a force up front for the hosts.

FC Groningen have not played a role in Europe since 2007 and they will be looking to make sure they will progress to play Real Sociedad in the third qualifying round of the competition. Groningen should win this tie but Aberdeen should make it tough so the bet to look for should be Groningen to win with Both Teams To Score, which Bet Victor offer at a great 13/5.

BEST BET: FC Groningen win with Both Teams To Score (13/5 – BET VICTOR) – Click here to bet with BET VICTOR and receive up to £25 free bets for new customers.


Click on Robbie’s name above to follow him on Twitter.


EUROPA LEAGUE: Aberdeen 0-0 FC Groningen






FC Groningen travelled to Aberdeen and fought out a 0-0 draw at the Pittodrie Stadium in the first leg of their Europa League second qualifying round tie.

FC Groningen blijft doelpuntloos tegen Aberdeen

Groningen named two new signings in their starting line-up, with former Ajax striker Danny Hoesen and goalkeeper Sergio Padt making their debuts.

The hosts created the best openings against skilful opponents who made up for their lack of speed in the team with some no-nonsense tactics at time. They were opened up on several occasions but showed enough glimpses in possession to suggest it will be a very tough test for the Scottish side in the Euroberg Stadium in seven days time.

In the first-half, Aberdeen had an appeal for a penalty rejected when captain Russell Anderson felt he was fouled in the box, with Portuguese referee Hugo Filipe waved away protests from the Dons players. And with the first half clock ticking down, Groningen almost sneaked a crucial away goal just before the half-time whistle.

Attacking left-back Hans Hateboar got the better of Jonny Hayes down the right-hand side, his cutback was deflected off Aberdeen centre-back Mark Reynolds, but Langfield was on hand to save the defender’s blushes. The loose ball then fell to Hoesen, who from an acute angle was unable to get on target.

The second half began to get a bit heated with Peter Pawlett and Hayes continuing to be the victim of unfair challenges. Groningen saw two players cautioned as tempers began to flare, first Nick van der Velden received a booking for a challenge on Hayes, while Johan Kappelhof picked up a yellow for a foul on midfielder Ryan Jack.

In the closing stages, it was Groningen once again who almost got that all important away goal. The two substitutes Jarchinio Antonia and Dino Islamovic linked up well, with the later flashing a shot the wrong side of Langfield’s near post.


ABERDEEN: Langfield, Logan, Anderson, Reynolds, Hayes, Jack, Flood, Robson, Pawlett (Low 89), McGinn, Rooney (Goodwillie 76).

SUBS NOT USED: Brown, Taylor, Considine, Smith, Wright.

GOALS: None.


FC GRONINGEN: Padt, Hateboer, Botteghin, Kappelhof, Burnet, Lindgren, Kieftenbeld, Chery, Van der Velden (Islamovic 82), Hoesen (Antonia 65), Kostic.

SUBS NOT USED: Van der Vlag, Magnasco, Van Nieff, Hiariej, De Leeuw.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: Hateboer, Lindgren, Kieftenbeld, Van der Velden.


Click the name above to follow Will on Twitter.

TotalDutchFootball.com    WorldFootballWeekly.com

EUROPA LEAGUE PREVIEW: Aberdeen vs. FC Groningen






The first Dutch football calendar gets underway this Thursday night in Scotland as FC Groningen travel across the water to play Aberdeen.

Last season Aberdeen qualified for Europe for the first time since 2009, finishing in third in the Scottish Premiership, which capped off a great 2013/14, their 100th year in Scottish top flight football. To add to the great finish in the league campaign The Dons added their sixth League Cup trophy to their cabinet with a penalty shootout victory against Inverness.

The Reds are likely to line up in fluid 4-2-3-1 formation that will see Adam Rooney (five goals in the first two qualifying ties) on his own up front with Jonny Hayes, Niall McGinn and veteran Barry Robson sitting behind him. Waiting in the wings will be new signing David Goodwillie on the bench. Goodwillie, formerly of Blackburn Rovers, signed on a free transfer after been released by Rovers at the end of last season.

Manager Derek McInnes knows that the Eredivisie side will be a tough game for his side: “Groningen have a bit of pace and presence, playing a similar system to ourselves. It will be a good test for us, but it will be a good test for them as well because we’ve got better as we’ve gone along. Groningen are a bit behind us in terms of competitive matches, but we are up and running. It is good to get competitve football now and we will certainly need to be competitive in the games against Groningen.”

To read more about Aberdeen, click here to read an excellent insight from Chris Rumbles.

FC Groningen head to Pittodrie with four new signings in tow. New first team goalkeeper Sergio Padt, tricky playmaker Jarchinio Antonio and striker Danny Hoesen will all get a start in Scotland with veteran substitute goalkeeper Peter van der Vlag in reserve. Losing young prodigy Richiaro Zivkovic to Ajax would have been a blow but Hoesen and Tjaronn Chery will be ready to step up to supply the goals.

Lining up in an attacking  4-3-3, one player looking to shine will be Filip Kostic. The Serbian left winger has been rumoured to be heading out of the Euroborg all summer, ready to move onto bigger and better things, however, Kostic is still present and look to him to give English right-back Shaleum Logan a torrid time on Thursday night.

I can see the Eredivisie side being too strong for Aberdeen and goals will be scored but it will be a tight one. With Hayes and Rooney in great form, life for the Groningen back four may be difficult and central defender partnership Johan Kappelhof and Eric Botteghin will have to be a the top of their game to keep a clean sheet.

Groningen to head home with an advantage is 17/10 at Bet Victor but you may want to sit on the fence and go for the draw at 12/5.

BEST BET: FC Groningen to win (17/10 – BET VICTOR) – Click here to bet with BET VICTOR and receive up to £25 free bets for new customers.


Click the name above to follow Will on Twitter.

TotalDutchFootball.com    WorldFootballWeekly.com

EUROPA LEAGUE: What can Groningen expect from Aberdeen?


This Thursday, FC Groningen travel to Scotland to face Premiership side Aberdeen in the UEFA Europa League Second Qualifying Round First Leg. Total Dutch Football asked Aberdeen fan Chris Rumbles, to give us a rundown on what The Dons are all about.


Despite a multitude of links to the Netherlands via former players and managers, this will be only the second time Aberdeen has faced Dutch opposition in Europe. The Dons previous Eredivisie encounter was a 2-2 aggregate loss to Feyenoord in the 1987/1988 UEFA Cup Second Round, a tie that came shortly before Aberdeen’s influx of players from the Netherlands that included the signings of Paul Mason and Theo ten Caat, both from FC Groningen. Since the club’s halcyon European days in the 80s (excluding the Feyenoord result of course), success at both domestic and European level has been a rarity. Derek McInnes’ first full season in charge as manager in 2013/2014 was a fruitful one that served as a reminder of the potential of the club. The Pittodrie side’s victory over Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the League Cup Final in March put an end to the club’s twenty-year long trophy drought, and in an instant Derek McInnes’ side reinstated a sense of footballing pride in the North-East of Scotland. To borrow a phrase from the music world, Aberdeen is now preparing for that difficult second album.


When the outgoing Craig Brown claimed he had left his successor Derek McInnes a ‘legacy’, many baulked at the notion. But one shouldn’t forget that club captain Russell Anderson, defensive partner Mark Reynolds, tricky winger Jonny Hayes, and Aberdeen’s talisman, Niall McGinn, were all Brown signings who were integral to last season’s achievements. Those four are part of a strong starting eleven that typically sets up in a fluid 4-2-3-1 formation that sees the three supporting the lone striker usually interchanging. The midfield can also be flattened to a five or a four with an attacking midfielder depending on the opposition.

Goalkeeper Jamie Langfield is now in his tenth season with the club and last season was potentially the 34-year-old’s best yet. Though capable of the calamitous as much as miraculous, Langfield has cut out many of the major errors that have punctuated his Pittodrie career, earning 15 league clean-sheets out of 38 fixtures last season to take his overall tally in Scotland’s top-flight to 102. Contributing to Langfield’s shutout record in recent times has been the dependable centre-half partnership of Russell Anderson and Mark Reynolds. Anderson’s vast experience coupled with Reynold’s pace and reading of the game, make up one of Scotland’s best defensive pairings. The permanent signing of Shaleum Logan this summer following a highly successful six month loan spell from Brentford will undoubtedly prove to be an astute one. The English right-back has given Aberdeen fans something they have been crying out for years: a genuine fullback. The left flank however remains one of Aberdeen’s real weaknesses. Centre-half Andy Considine and winger Jonny Hayes both filled in for the matches against FK Daugava Riga in the absence of the injured Clark Robertson. Even with Robertson fit again, his relative inexperience renders the left-back position a weakness which most fans believe is a transfer priority.

Last summer’s signings of Willo Flood and Barry Robson; have given the Dandies’ midfield a new lease of life. The addition of Flood in particular has been pivotal to the Dons injecting an energy and tenacity into midfield that had, until then, been lacking. Flood has been described by his manager as the ‘heartbeat’ of the Aberdeen team; testament to the diminutive Dubliner’s duty of disrupting the opposition’s rhythm and catalysing Aberdeen’s. Alongside Flood in central midfield is usually Ryan Jack, though Barry Robson can often partner his former Dundee United, Celtic, and Middlesbrough colleague depending on other personnel. Jack’s deep-lying midfield role is a quiet but often effective one, dictating play while giving others license to roam forward. Robson, meanwhile, provides a level of nous and vision from his favoured central position as well as from the right. His arrival at the club has seen the Dons become a real threat from set-pieces thanks to the 35-year-old’s pinpoint accuracy. From the bench, Nicky Low and Cammy Smith can also provide urgency and skill around midfield in equal measure, despite their inexperience.

Of the Dons forward contingent, Jonny Hayes is undoubtedly in the best form at the time of writing. Hayes set-up three and scored one across the two–legged affair with FK Daugava Riga. His injury in Riga will be a concern to an Aberdeen side already bereft of options on the left-side. Another potential absentee for the Groningen tie is Peter Pawlett. No stranger to the treatment table, Pawlett gave his footballing career a much-needed shot in the arm last season with a host of dazzling performances that culminated in his first Scotland call-up in May. Pawlett provides Aberdeen with pace and a focus on one thing: attacking. His seven goals last season were a significant improvement on his 1 other Aberdeen goal scored over the previous five seasons.

Two players who have found the net for Aberdeen on a more regular basis are Niall McGinn and Adam Rooney. Signed as an out-and-out striker, McGinn’s first two seasons at Aberdeen have seen the Northern Ireland international score 35 goals in 84 games. He is, in every sense, Aberdeen’s number ten. Full of creativity and skill, McGinn’s role has altered since his first season under Brown, but even in a wider role last season he still finished top scorer with 14 goals. That number is also the total number of goals McGinn’s fellow Irishman Adam Rooney has scored since joining the Dons in January from Oldham Athletic, including five of Aberdeen’s eight goals against FK Daugava Riga. His performance in the away leg last week typified what he offers Aberdeen: a penalty-box striker with real presence. Brought into challenge, or possibly complement Rooney, is recent signing David Goodwillie. The striker’s free transfer to Aberdeen comes after a barren three-year spell with Blackburn Rovers that promised so much after a multi-million pound move from Dundee United. Goodwillie’s chequered off-the-field past is perhaps reflected in the length of the contract, but the three-times capped Scotland player will be hoping his latent talent will emerge to prove any doubters wrong.

The post-match scenes that followed Aberdeen and FC Groningen’s last competitive matches of the past season could not have been further apart; the Dons were crestfallen as Motherwell beat them with the last kick of the game, forsaking second spot to their opponents on the day. FC Groningen, meanwhile, celebrated after they dismantled AZ 3-0 in the Europa League play-off, providing a return to European football following a seven year absence. Yet despite these contrasting fortunes, it might just be the Dons who enter the tie the more confident of the two with the extra qualifying round bolstering both their match sharpness and experience ahead of what is set to be a stern test for both teams. It is a tie Dons supporters will go into with realistic, rather than quixotic, hopes.


Click on Chris’ name above to follow him on Twitter.