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.
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.