Tag Archives: FC Groningen

EREDIVISIE REPORT: PSV six-y as Ajax four-midable

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Due to the international break, the ninth round of action in the Dutch top flight got underway on Saturday evening with two fixtures kicking off simultaneously that saw reigning Eredivisie champions, PSV Eindhoven tune up for their UEFA Champions League encounter with Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday evening by hitting a hapless FC Emmen for six to move eight points clear at the top of the standings ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures while, at the same time, goals from Jeffry Fortes and Jurgen Mattheij saw an undermanned Excelsior edge out Vitesse Arnhem at the Van Donge & De Roo Stadion.

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Saturday’s Eredivisie action was concluded with two more fixtures that saw title-chasing Ajax, who themselves welcome Benfica to the Johan Cruijff ArenA in UEFA Champions League action on Tuesday evening, promptly reduce PSV’s advantage at the top of the table back to five points after Erik ten Hag’s men hit Heerenveen for four without reply in Friesland while an own goal from the unlucky Ricardo van Rhijn saw FC Utrecht snatch all three points from under the noses of visiting AZ Alkmaar at the Stadion Galgenwaard.

Sunday’s action in the top flight of Dutch football got underway in Breda where a Mikhail Rosheuvel spot kick sixteen minutes from time ultimately proved enough to earn bottom-of-the-table, NAC a share of the spoils from their derby clash with Willem II.

Elsewhere, goals from Peniel Mlapa and Jay-Roy Grot saw VVV Venlo sweep aside the challenge of visiting ADO Den Haag to edge their way into the top five.

Meanwhile, Heracles ended the weekend five points and one place better off than VVV after coming from a goal down to hit struggling FC Groningen for four at the Polman Stadion while, with the season’s first instalment of De Klassieker on the horizon, Feyenoord hit PEC Zwolle for three to move within two points of second placed Ajax.

The ninth round of Eredivisie action was brought to a close in Sittard where Fortuna hit fellow newly-promoted side, De Graafschap for three to move three points clear of the drop zone.

Results

PSV Eindhoven 6-0 FC Emmen

Excelsior 2-0 Vitesse Arnhem

SC Heerenveen 0-4 AFC Ajax

FC Utrecht 2-1 AZ Alkmaar

NAC Breda 2-2 Willem II

VVV Venlo 2-0 ADO Den Haag

Heracles Almelo 4-1 FC Groningen

Feyenoord 3-0 PEC Zwolle

Fortuna Sittard 3-1 De Graafschap 

Team of the Week

GK – Justin Bijlow – Feyenoord

DF – Denzel Dumfries – PSV

DF – Angelino – PSV

DF – Branislav Ninaj – Fortuna Sittard

DF – Jurgen Mattheij – Excelsior

MF – Tino Susic – VVV

MF – Gaston Pereiro – PSV

MF – Hakim Ziyech – Ajax

FW – Luuk De Jong – PSV

FW – Lazaros Lamprou – Fortuna Sittard

FW – Hirving Lozano – PSV

Player of the Week

FW – Hirving Lozano – PSV

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: PSV & Ajax easing through the season

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With the second international break of the campaign looming large on the horizon, the eighth round of Eredivisie action got underway on Friday evening at the Stadion Galgenwaard where a Simon Gustafson double saw FC Utrecht overcome the challenge of struggling NAC Breda to edge their way into the top ten ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures.

Saturday’s action in the top flight of Dutch football began in The Hague where a lone first-half effort from Elson Hooi ultimately proved enough to see ADO Den Haag edge out visiting Groningen.

Elsewhere, PEC Zwolle continued their recent resurgence by seeing off the challenge of Excelsior courtesy of goals from Mike van Duinen and Thomas Lam while reigning Eredivisie champions, PSV Eindhoven put their midweek UEFA Champions League disappointment behind them by hitting VVV Venlo for four to move eight points clear at the top of the standings.

The day’s action was concluded in Doetinchem where Heerenveen edged their way into the top eight after hitting an undermanned De Graafschap for five.

Sunday’s Eredivisie action got underway at De Oude Meerdijk where a 91st-minute effort from Jose Rodriguez earned Fortuna Sittard a late share of the spoils in a six-goal thriller with fellow Eredivisie new boys, FC Emmen.

Elsewhere, previously in-form Heracles saw their five-match winning streak go up in smoke in spectacular fashion as they were hit for four without reply by a rampant Vitesse Arnhem while an 85th-minute equaliser from Fran Sol saw Willem II snatch a late point against visiting Feyenoord.

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The eighth round of action was brought to a close at the Johan Cruijff ArenA where buoyed by their impressive performance in Munich in midweek, Ajax hit a hapless AZ Alkmaar for five to end the weekend five points adrift of pacesetting PSV Eindhoven.   

Results

FC Utrecht 2-1 NAC Breda

ADO Den Haag 1-0 FC Groningen

PEC Zwolle 2-0 Excelsior

PSV Eindhoven 4-0 VVV Venlo

De Graafschap 0-5 SC Heerenveen

FC Emmen 3-3 Fortuna Sittard

Vitesse Arnhem 4-0 Heracles Almelo

Willem II 1-1 Feyenoord

AFC Ajax 5-0 AZ Alkmaar

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Eredivisie Team of the Week: Ziyech tops Week 7

The Eredivisie season is back and so is our Player of the Year tournament. Every week Will Burns and Steve Davies select the best 11 from that week’s action and each player is awarded one point. One member of the team will win the ‘Player of the Week’ award and be awarded two points. Check the current standings here.

More next week. Remember to keep an eye on the standings of the Player of the Season tournament by clicking here.

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Hero RVP turns to villain

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Following a busy week of KNVB Beker action, the Eredivisie returned with its seventh round of fixtures on Saturday evening at the Abe Lenstra Stadion where Tomáš Necid’s third goal in the Czech’s last two outings in all competitions earned ADO Den Haag a share of the points against Heerenveen while, at the same time, second-half goals from Luuk de Jong and substitute, Donyell Malen helped reigning Eredivisie champions, PSV Eindhoven to a third win on the bounce in all competitions on the road against NAC in Breda.

The day’s action was rounded out with two more fixtures kicking off simultaneously as second-half goals from Kasper Dolberg and Hakim Ziyech saw Ajax warm up tor Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League meeting with Bayern Munich by taking all three points from their trip to Eredivisie new boys, Fortuna Sittard while a lone Elías Már Ómarsson effort ultimately proved enough to see a short-handed Excelsior send visiting VVV Venlo home empty-handed.

Sunday got underway in Almelo where two goals in the opening seven minutes from first, Brandley Kuwas and then Kristoffer Peterson ultimately proved enough to see in-form Heracles record a fifth-straight win in all competitions, at the expense of visiting FC Emmen.

Elsewhere, a goal from super-sub, Ahmad Mendes Moreira fourteen minutes from time saw struggling FC Groningen climb off the foot of the table after snatching a share of the spoils against an undermanned FC Utrecht while an 88th minute effort from second-half replacement, Zian Flemming earned PEC Zwolle a late point against AZ Alkmaar and an own goal from the unlucky Fernando Lewis a minute from time saw De Graafschap snatch all three points against nine-man Willem II in Doetinchem.

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The weekend was brought to a close at De Kuip where Robin van Persie capped a come-from-behind victory for hosts, Feyenoord with an incredible free-kick three minutes from time to see off a dogged Vitesse Arnhem, who, having seen the former Arsenal and Manchester United man handed his marching orders a minute into added time, would end the game with just nine men when Danilho Doekhi was sent to join the previously dismissed Thomas Bruns four minutes later.

Results

SC Heerenveen 1-1 ADO Den Haag

NAC Breda 0-2 PSV Eindhoven

Fortuna Sittard 0-2 AFC Ajax

Excelsior 1-0 VVV Venlo

Heracles Almelo 2-1 FC Emmen

FC Groningen 1-1 FC Utrecht

AZ Alkmaar 2-2 PEC Zwolle

De Graafschap 2-1 Willem II

Feyenoord 2-1 Vitesse Arnhem

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: PSV go five ahead of Ajax in De Topper

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The sixth round of Eredivisie action got underway on Friday evening at the Polman Stadion where in-form Heracles made it three wins on the bounce by hitting an undermanned De Graafschap for four.

Saturday’s top-flight action got underway in Sittard where a 77th-minute effort from Jose Rodriguez ultimately proved enough to earn Fortuna a share of the spoils in an eight-goal thriller with visiting Willem II.

Elsewhere, VVV Venlo made it back-to-back victories by smashing an undermanned NAC Breda for three while the 92nd-minute effort from substitute, Jizz Hornkamp earned Heerenveen a late share of the spoils in a six-goal thriller with Excelsior at the Van Donge & De Roo Stadion.

Saturday’s Eredivisie action was brought to a close in Arnhem where a 65th-minute effort from Abdenasser El Khayati ultimately proved enough to see ADO Den Haag put last week’s seven-goal humbling at the hands of PSV Eindhoven behind them by bagging a point on the road against ten-man Vitesse.

Sunday’s action in the Dutch top-flight began at De Kuip where a lone Robin van Persie goal three minutes from time saw Feyenoord snatch all three points from under the noses of a dogged FC Utrecht.

Elsewhere, a solitary first-half effort from Rick Dekker ultimately proved just enough to secure PEC Zwolle’s second victory of the campaign, on the road in Emmen while AZ Alkmaar edged their way back into the top five by hitting nine-man Groningen for three.

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The weekend was brought to a close at the Philips Stadion where three goals in the space of fourteen first-half minutes saw reigning Eredivisie champions, PSV Eindhoven sweep aside the challenge of title rivals, Ajax in De Topper to move five points clear at the top of the standings.

Results

Heracles Almelo 4-0 De Graafschap

Fortuna Sittard 4-4 Willem II

VVV Venlo 3-0 NAC Breda

Excelsior 3-3 SC Heerenveen

Vitesse Arnhem 1-1 ADO Den Haag

Feyenoord 1-0 FC Utrecht

FC Emmen 0-1 PEC Zwolle

FC Groningen 1-3 AZ Alkmaar

PSV Eindhoven 3-0 AFC Ajax

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: PSV in Seventh Heaven!

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With no Friday fixture following the international break, the fifth round of Eredivisie action got underway on Saturday evening with reigning Eredivisie champions, PSV Eindhoven tuning up for their UEFA Champions League encounter with Barcelona at the Nou Camp on Tuesday evening by hitting a hapless ADO Den Haag for seven in The Hague while VVV Venlo withstood a late fightback from hosts, De Graafschap to pick up their second win of the campaign.

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Elsewhere, a double from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and a goal from Dušan Tadić saw the second of the Netherlands’ UEFA Champions League hopefuls, Ajax prepare for their meeting with AEK Athens on Wednesday evening by hitting struggling FC Groningen for three at the Johan Cruijff ArenA to move to within two points of pacesetting PSV while two goals in the space of two minutes saw Willem II come from two-down to salvage an unlikely point late on against visiting Excelsior.

Sunday’s Eredivisie action got underway at the AFAS Stadion where a Steven Berghuis effort five minutes before the break ultimately proved enough to earn Feyenoord a point against AZ Alkmaar.

In the day’s other games, a scrambled effort from Branislav Ninaj nine minutes from time ultimately proved the difference as Fortuna Sittard edged out hosts, NAC Breda in a five-goal thriller to post the club’s first victory since returning to the top flight of Dutch football while second-half goals from substitute, Luciano Slagveer, and Glen Bijl saw FC Emmen come from a goal down to post their second victory since achieving Eredivisie status at the expense of an undermanned FC Utrecht.

Meanwhile, Kristoffer Peterson’s second of the afternoon followed by a Mohammed Osman effort two minutes from time eventually put Heracles out of sight in an eight-goal thriller with Heerenveen before the fifth round of Eredivisie action was brought to a close at the MAC³PARK Stadion where a first-half double from Tim Matavž saw Vitesse Arnhem get back to winning ways at the expense of struggling PEC Zwolle.

Results

De Graafschap 1-2 VVV Venlo

ADO Den Haag 0-7 PSV Eindhoven

Willem II 2-2 Excelsior

AFC Ajax 3-0 FC Groningen

AZ Alkmaar 1-1 Feyenoord

SC Heerenveen 3-5 Heracles Almelo

FC Utrecht 1-2 FC Emmen

NAC Breda 2-3 Fortuna Sittard

PEC Zwolle 0-2 Vitesse Arnhem

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: PSV hit Willem II for six as Ajax are four-midable

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The fourth week of action in the Eredivisie got underway on Friday night at De Oude Meerdijk where a late Fabian Serrarens effort two minutes from time earned visiting De Graafschap a late share of the spoils against another newly-promoted side, FC Emmen.

Saturday began in Venlo where a 69th minute effort from substitute, Patrick Joosten saw hosts, VVV claim a point against visiting Heerenveen.

Elsewhere an incredible four-goal performance from Abdenasser El Khayati helped ADO Den Haag secure a second win in as many games away at Excelsior while reigning Eredivisie champions PSV Eindhoven made it six wins on the bounce in all competitions by hitting a hapless Willem II for six.

Saturday’s action was brought to a close in Sittard where Andrija Novakovich’s deflected 74th minute strike ultimately proved sufficient to see newly-promoted Fortuna share the spoils with visitors, FC Utrecht to post just their second point since making their return to the top flight of Dutch football.

Sunday’s Eredivisie action got underway in Groningen where a lone Vito van Crooij effort nineteen minutes into the second half proved just enough to see PEC Zwolle bag their first points of the campaign and move off the foot of the table.

Elsewhere, Ajax followed up securing a place in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League by hitting Vitesse for four without reply in Arnhem while, despite taking a 2nd minute lead through Myron Boadu, early season pacesetters, AZ Alkmaar ultimately slipped to a first league defeat of the campaign after goals from Mohammed Osman, Kristoffer Peterson and Lerin Duarte sealed a come-from-behind victory for hosts, Heracles in Almelo.

The fourth round of action in the Dutch top flight was brought to a close at De Kuip where Feyenoord edged into third place in the standings by hitting visiting NAC Breda for four to secure their third win in as many games.

Results

FC Emmen 1-1 De Graafschap

VVV Venlo 1-1 SC Heerenveen

PSV Eindhoven 6-1 Willem II

Excelsior 2-4 ADO Den Haag

Fortuna Sittard 1-1 FC Utrecht

Fc Groningen 0-1 PEC Zwolle

Heracles Almelo 3-2 AZ Alkmaar

Vitesse Arnhem 0-4 AFC Ajax

Feyenoord 4-2 NAC Breda

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Eredivisie Team of the Week: Ziyech is our silky star man

Welcome to week three of the Total Dutch Football.com Eredivisie Player of the Year tournament. Every week Will Burns and Steve Davies select the best 11 from that week’s action and each player is awarded one point. One member of the team will win the ‘Player of the Week’ award and be awarded two points. Check the current standings here.

Hakim Ziyech was our standout player of the week. The Moroccan international was influential in the 5-0 drubbing over FC Emmen, torturing the defence with his plays and shots.

Luuk de Jong snatched his first two goals of the season in a last gasp 2-1 win over PEC Zwolle. Three Willem II players made the team. Fernando Lewis, Donis Avdijaj and Fran Sol were the pick of the team that thumped Heracles by five goals to nil.

More next week. Remember to keep an eye on the standings of the Player of the Season tournament by clicking here.

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Tadic to the rescue for Ajax

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The second round of action in the Dutch top flight got underway on Friday evening at the Hitachi Capital Mobility Stadion where a lone goal from Daniel Crowley saw Willem II post their first points of the campaign at the expense of hosts, FC Groningen, who remain without a point and propping up the table after succumbing to successive defeats in the opening two rounds of the season.

Saturday’s Eredivisie action began in Venlo where a late Dusan Tadic spot-kick saw an out-of-sorts Ajax snatch all three points against VVV.

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Elsewhere, NAC Breda brought De Graafschap back down to earth by hitting the newly promoted side for three, while a last-minute effort from substitute, Dante Rigo spared reigning Eredivisie champions, PSV Eindhoven’s blushes in Sittard against another of the league’s new boys, Fortuna.

Saturday’s action was rounded out in Almelo where Heracles followed up their impressive display at the Johan Cruijff ArenA last time out by hitting a hapless, ADO Den Haag for four.

Sunday’s action got underway at the Stadion Galgenwaard where first half goals from Joris van Overeem (who was later sent off) and Sean Klaiber saw FC Utrecht post their first points of the campaign at the expense of visiting, PEC Zwolle, who remain pointless.

Elsewhere, AZ Alkmaar ensured they would end the weekend back at the top of the standings by following up last week’s five-goal thrashing of NAC with a four-goal trouncing of top flight debutants, FC Emmen, while Feyenoord put a nightmare week in the rear view by hitting Rotterdam rivals, Excelsior for three at De Kuip.

Week two was brought to a close in Friesland where an 81st minute effort from Tim Matavz earned another side who saw their European hopes fade in mid-week, Vitesse Arnhem, a late share of the spoils against Heerenveen.

Results: Week 2

FC Groningen 0-1 Willem II

NAC Breda 3-0 De Graafschap

VVV Venlo 0-1 AFC Ajax

Fortuna Sittard 1-2 PSV Eindhoven

Heracles Almelo 4-2 ADO Den Haag

FC Utrecht 2-0 PEC Zwolle

Feyenoord 3-0 Excelsior

FC Emmen 1-4 AZ Alkmaar

SC Heerenveen 1-1 Vitesse Arnhem

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EREDIVISIE Week One Preview and Betting Tips

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Will Burns makes his return with three selections for this opening weekend of Eredivisie action.

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PSV vs. FC Utrecht

Saturday, 19:45

We witnessed major change in Eindhoven this past summer as manager Philip Cocu left to take on a new challenge in Turkey with Fenerbahçe. He was replaced by former team-mate Marc van Bommel despite a lack of experience at this level. Last weekend, Van Bommel’s debut did get off to a good start losing on penalties to rivals Feyenoord as the Rotterdammers lifted the Johan Cruyff Schaal.

This weekend, Van Bommel begins the quest to retain the Eredivisie title against FC Utrecht and he will be encouraged by the talent he has inherited in the PSV squad. A major plus over the summer is the decision of Mexican superstar Hirving Lozano to stay in Eindhoven despite impressing at the World Cup in Russia and attraction attention from some major clubs across Europe.

De Boeren have seen success in 21 of their last 22 home matches against Utrecht in all competitions and I predict more the same on Saturday evening with plenty of goals. Utrecht saw masses of goal action on their travels last season, but specifically in 2018 so far as they have seen over 2.5 goals in their last eight away games.

PSV have notched at least two goals in nine of their last 10 games against Utrecht and with attacking talents like Lozano, Luuk de Jong and Steven Bergwijn at their disposal I feel getting on PSV on the handicap is the best bet in this one. 

Recommended Bet: PSV -1 Asian Handicap – £10 on at 2.20 to win £22.00 at Paddy Power

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De Graafschap vs. Feyenoord

Sunday, 13:30

Feyenoord were hammered four goals without reply by Slovakian underdogs AS Trenčín on Thursday night and it will not get any easier when they travel to Doetinchem to face Eredivisie new boys De Graafschap.

An embarrassing defeat in European qualification has not provided Giovanni van Bronckhorst with the best preparation for the new Eredivisie season. The former Arsenal and Celtic man has to contend with the absences of summer signing Yassin Ayoub and last season’s top scorer Nicolai Jörgensen too which will hamper their creation going forward.

De Graafschap will see this as an excellent opportunity to claim a huge scalp and defeat the Rotterdam giants, who start with the inexperienced 20-year-old Justin Bijlow in goal, and they may just have one eye on Thursday’s night return game against Trenčín.

Taking all this into account, the home fans at the Stadion De Vijverberg could be celebrating on Sunday afternoon. It’s long odds but I placing a bet on De Graafschap Draw No Bet at 3/1 is worth a punt.

Recommended Bet: De Graafschap Draw No Bet – £10 on at 4.00 to win £40.00 at 888Sport

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Vitesse Arnhem vs. FC Groningen

Sunday, 13:30

Vitesse Arnhem are already three weeks into their new campaign due to the qualifying stages of the Europa League. Leonid Slutsky’s side have successfully dispatched Romania outfit FC Viitorul 5-3 on aggregate and were defeated 1-0 by FC Basel on Thursday night in their first leg of the third round of qualification.

Their opponents on Sunday, FC Groningen head into their first competitive game which surely gives the hosts the advantage, however Vitesse will see the second leg against Basel vitally important financially and may have thoughts elsewhere on Sunday afternoon. Groningen have become draw specialists after claiming just a point in five of their last six away league games and four of those games finished 1-1.

New manager Danny Buijs will be very pleased if his side can leave the Gelredome with a point on the opening weekend and I see that as the most likely result.

Recommended Bet: Draw – £10 on at 4.20 to win £42.00 at Betfair

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Week Two

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As always, Steven Davies is on hand to inform you of all the action in Week two of the Eredivisie.

Week two of the 2016/17 Eredivisie season got underway on Friday night at the Abe Lenstra Stadion where, for the second week in succession, Jurgen Streppel’s Heerenveen came from behind to share the spoils in a four-goal affair.

In contrast to Streppel’s delight, his opposite number, FC Utrecht coach, Erik ten Hag, was left feeling short-changed, not only by the controversial manner in which the home side squared the score-line – a goalmouth scramble (which could just as easily have resulted in a free kick to the visiting side) following a Heerenveen corner which was finished by Iranian international, Reza Ghoochannejhad in the 69th minute, but also the fact that ten Hag’s men had, for the second week in succession, put in a performance worthy of much more than the single point his side ultimately left Friesland with following two quick-fire goals in three minutes just after the half hour mark – a Sebastien Haller penalty followed by a Bart Ramselaar cracker from well outside the area that had initially overturned Luciano Slagveer’s 12th minute opener for the home side.

Despite being just two weeks into the 2016/17 campaign, things are rapidly reaching crisis proportions in Groningen after Ernest Faber’s men followed up last week’s humiliating pounding at the hands of Feyenoord by slipping to an embarrassing defeat to Feyenoord’s Rotterdam neighbours, Excelsior in the early evening fixture on Saturday.

By sharp contrast, new Excelsior coach, Mitchell van der Gaag has enjoyed a perfect start with two wins on the bounce. A glancing header from 23-year-old central defender, Jurgen Mattheij after just two minutes had elapsed at the Stadion Woudestein followed by an incredible David Beckham-esque, Kevin Vermeulen lob from inside his own half of the field just seconds after Groningen ‘keeper Sergio Padt had rattled the Excelsior post with a header after coming up for a last-gasp free kick in the second minute of stoppage time secured the points for the tiny Rotterdam outfit and left Groningen at the bottom of the early season standings.

Mitchell van der Gaag wasn’t the only coach celebrating an unlikely six-point haul from his side’s opening two fixtures of the season after Zeljko Petrovic guided ADO Den Haag to an unlikely victory over Vitesse Arnhem at the GelreDome.

Things had started well for Henk Fraser’s side – Ricky van Wolfswinkel putting the Arnhem outfit in the ascendancy after 22 minutes, but ADO were back on level terms just after the half hour through Gervane Kastaneer who struck again just after the hour mark to secure all three points for the men from The Hague.

The surprising results continued at the Amsterdam ArenA on Saturday evening.  With the first leg of their UEFA Champions League playoff against Russian club, Rostov on the horizon on Tuesday evening, Ajax coach, Peter Bosz surprisingly elected against shuffling his pack for the visit of Roda JC. A Kasper Dolberg brace either side of an Adil Auassar effort should have been enough to see de Godenzonen past the plucky Kerkrade outfit. However, a Tom van Hyfte equaliser deep into stoppage time salvaged a point for the visitors despite Frederic Ananou seeing red for Yannis Anastasiou’s men after picking up his second yellow card of the match with seconds remaining on the clock.

Saturday’s Eredivisie action concluded at the MAC3PARK Stadion in Zwolle where the home side were incredibly hit for three without reply by newly promoted Sparta. A well taken goal from Loris Brogno following a deft back-heel from Stijn Spierings and Aussie forward, Craig Goodwin’s deflected effort either side of the half time interval set the visitors on their way to victory with Brogno adding a touch of the emphatic to the score line for the reigning Eerste Divisie champions with three minutes to go.

Heracles easily dispatched a woeful Willem II in Almelo in Sunday’s early fixture – racing out to a three goal lead through an Iliass Bel Hassani freekick after 26 minutes followed by a Paul Gladon double after the interval. Erik Falkenburg’s spectacular lob of Heracles ‘keeper, Bram Castro may well prove to be a strong contender for Goal of the Week in the Eredivisie but, with just 8 minutes left on the clock, it proved too little too late for Erwin van de Looi’s men who have now conceded an alarming seven goals in their opening two matches of 2016/17.

Two teams seemingly moving in polar opposite directions met a De Kuip where Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s, Feyenoord overcame the spirited but ultimately futile efforts of Rene Hake’s beleaguered FC Twente. Jens Toornstra opened the scoring for the Rotterdammers on 23 minutes but the anticipated avalanche of goals failed to materialise thereafter as the home side found their counterparts from Enschede in stubborn mood – Nicolai Jorgensen’s second goal of the season eventually putting the game to bed with ten minutes remaining to leave Feyenoord perched atop of the fledgling Eredivisie table on goal difference.

A real ‘game of two halves’ unfolded in Deventer where newly promoted Go Ahead Eagles found themselves under immense pressure during a first half dominated in terms of chances and possession by Peter Hyballa’s NEC Nijmegen – the visitors deservedly taking the lead when a Quincy Owusu Abeyie through-ball split the Eagles’ brittle back line and put Kevin Mayi in the clear – the forward beating ‘keeper, Theo Zwarthoed with a low drive.

However, despite the visitor’s first half dominance, the second stanza began with the home side on the front foot – Hans de Koning’s charges equalising through a 25 yard thunderbolt from skipper, Sander Duits just four minutes after the resumption before Estonian import, Henrik Ojamaa cut in from the right and curled a well-placed effort into the top right hand corner of Joris Delle’s net to send the raucous home crowd at De Adelaarshorst into ecstasy just short of the hour mark.

But, the Deventer-based outfit failed to emulate fellow promoted side, Sparta’s exploits from the previous day – being denied their first win back in the top flight by Frenchman, Mayi, who, having exchanged a quick one-two on half way following the breakdown of an attack by a home side in search on their third of the afternoon, found himself once more one on one with Zwarthoed who he beat for a second time to tie the score at two apiece but neither team could fashion a winning goal.

The second round of matches was rounded out in Eindhoven where reigning champions, PSV squeezed past a resolute AZ Alkmaar in a largely uneventful encounter thanks to a Hector Moreno header after 52 minutes of play at the Philips Stadion.

RESULTS

SC Heerenveen 2-2 FC Utrecht

Excelsior 2-0 Groningen

Vitesse 1- 2 ADO Den Haag

AFC Ajax 2-2 Roda JC

PEC Zwolle 0-3 Sparta Rotterdam

Heracles 3-1 Willem II

Feyenoord 2-0 FC Twente

Go Ahead Eagles 2-2 NEC Nijmegen

PSV Eindhoven 1-0 AZ Alkmaar

RESULTS

NEC Nijmegen 1-1 PEC Zwolle

ADO Den Haag 3-0 Go Ahead Eagles

FC Utrecht 1-2 PSV Eindhoven

FC Twente 1-2 Excelsior

Willem II 1-4 Vitesse Arnhem

Groningen 0-5 Feyenoord

AZ Alkmaar 2-2 Heerenveen

Sparta Rotterdam 1-3 AFC Ajax

Roda JC 1- 1 Heracles

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Maikel Kieftenbeld turning out to be a bargain buy for Blues

When 25 year old Dutch midfielder Maikel Kieftenbeld joined Blues from Groningen for a mere £160,000 I don’t think anyone would’ve predicted how crucial he would become to Gary Rowett’s team writes Luke Turner.


To be fair, I had never heard of Maikel prior to him joining the Blues and his early season performances left me thinking. His endeavour was there for all to see but he couldn’t seem to string a pass together. As time has gone on, I have seen more of him and now it can be seen clearly what his strengths and weaknesses are. Kieftenbeld is excellent at committing himself for tackles, breaking the play up and covering ground. However, his weaknesses are that he can needlessly give possession away as well as fouls. Up until Saturday he had also barely been a threat in front of goal.

With Maikel Kieftenbeld in you team, you know what you’re going to get. You can’t expect a pin point 40-yard long pass but what he does give you a fully committed performance and 110% effort right up until the last kick of the game. Only Jonathan Grounds makes more tackles and interceptions on average per game than Kieftenbeld which shows how important he is to the team.

I can’t quite believe that we signed him for such a small transfer fee. Talk about value for money! A midfielder of his ability would cost at least a couple of million pounds if signed from the Premier League or a fellow Championship club. It just shows that there are players out there that can be sought for such little money.

I think the game on Saturday against Brentford was the game where Blues fans really discovered their love for Kieftenbeld. As the game approached 90 minutes, Maikel intercepted a pass in his own half before making a 60-yard lung busting run in support of James Vaughan and then tapped home from a couple of yards to clinch the winner. His first goal for Blues, his first goal in England and in front of the Tilton as well. You could see in his celebration that he was delighted. That goal epitomised Maikel’s style of play and he certainly fits the bill for the type of player Rowett dreams of having.

What a signing he has proved to be so far by Gary Rowett. If he continues to produce performances at the level he has so consistently so far this season then I think we could be seeing a new Blues cult hero in the making. Dutch Maik, I salute you!

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Eredivisie Team Of The Week – Round 6

Header-TeamOfTheWeek

Welcome to week six of our Eredivisie Team of the Week which leads into our Eredivisie ‘Player of the Season’ competition.  All players have performed so well this weekend that Martijn Hilhorst and Will Burns have decided they should be in our team of the week.  Each player in the eleven receives one point and whichever player is declared ‘Player of the Week’, he receives an extra point.

TeamOfTheWeek-6

GOALKEEPER

SERGIO PADT – FC GRONINGEN: Commanding performance from the young goalie in Groningen’s 2-0 win over AZ.

DEFENDERS

GURAM KASHIA – VITESSE: Clean sheet and a goal for the big Georgian leading his side to a 3-0 win over De Graafschap.

WESSEL DAMMERS – SC CAMBUUR: Formerly a striker, Big Wessel was vital in at back for Cambuur, winning 11 challenges and five headers in the 0-0 draw against FC Twente.

JOP VAN DER LINDEN – AZ ALKMAAR: His side lost 2-0 to FC Groningen and if it were not Jop, it could have been a lot worse – won three aerial battles and victorious in six tackles.

RICK KARSDORP – FEYENOORD: The young right-back picked up another assist for Michiel Kramer’s goal in Feyenoord’s disappointing 1-1 draw at Roda.

MARK-JAN FLEDDERUS – HERACLES: The left-back was a true thorn in PSV’s side with a goal in the 2-1 turnaround for Heracles.

MIDFIELDERS

HICHAM FAIK – RODA JC: Great intelligence from the young Roda midfielder to chip Kenneth Vermeer with a quick free-kick to grab a point for his side against Feyenoord.

LUCAS ANDERSEN – WILLEM II: The Ajax loanee was influential for Willem II’s first win of the season against FC Utrecht on Saturday. The young Danish midfielder is our PLAYER OF THE WEEK.

ATTACKERS

SHERALDO BECKER – PEC ZWOLLE: A great goal and a great assist from Becker as Zwolle continue their undefeated start against ADO.

AREK MILIK – AJAX: The Polish striker failed to make an impact midweek against Celtic, but made up for it this weekend, notching a goal in the 2-0 victory over Excelsior.

CHRISTIAN SANTOS – N.E.C. NIJMEGEN: The Venezuelan international notched twice in a great 2-0 win over sc Heerenveen on Friday night.

Click here to see the ‘Player of the Season’ standings.

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