Tag Archives: FC Groningen

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

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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.

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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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EREDIVISIE REPORT: WEEK 6

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WEEK SIX – 18TH-20TH SEPTEMBER 2015

Feyenoord held to a draw, PSV suffer a European hangover as Ajax get back to winning ways against Excelsior writes Will Burns.

After the heroics in Europe last week, PSV fell to a 2-1 away defeat to high-flying Heracles in Almelo on Saturday evening. The hosts coach John Stegeman stated he was ‘a proud coach’ after his watched his side come back from a goal down to move top of the Eredivisie table come Saturday night.

The reigning champions gained the lead inside two minutes. Maxime Lestienne, who provided two assists in the midweek victory over Manchester United, provided another assist for Luuk de Jong. However, before half-time Heracles turned the game on its head leading 2-1 at the break. The equaliser came on 39 minutes, from a wonderful dipping strike by Mark-Jan Fledderus. The midfielder hit it just outside the area that gave Jeroen Zoet no chance of stopping. On the stroke of half-time, Thomas Bruns curled home Heracles’ second with a first-time shot from around 30 yards out.

The majority of the 12,034 inside the Polman Stadion erupted in euphoria on the full-time whistle as Heracles have now won five on the trot to make an incredible start to the season, when many had the Almelo side down as relegation contenders.

Ajax stay top of the pile after a two goal victory away to Excelsior. Frank de Boer’s men took the lead after Anwar El Ghazi scored the opening goal with a great dribble then finish just after the half hour mark. Before the half-time break, Arek Milik doubled Ajax’s score with a shot from outside the box that was too strong for goalkeeper Filip Kurto to stop. The Rotterdam side failed to trouble Jasper Cillessen in goal and Ajax controlled for the win.

In the early Sunday match, Feyenoord shared the points with Roda JC in Kerkrade in a 1-1 draw. Roda were dangerous on the counter attack, although it was the Rotterdammers that took the lead after twenty minutes of play. The 6ft 4inch Michiel Kramer notched his second goal of the campaign, nodding home a Rick Karsdorp cross. The lead did not last long as Hicham Faik took advantage of some poor placement by Kenneth Vermeer to float an easy free-kick into the net to tie the game up. The second half did not bring anymore goals.

Ron Jans’ PEC Zwolle also came from behind to maintain their undefeated start to the new campaign with a 2-1 win over ADO Den Haag. Japanese international striker Mike Havanaar put Henk Fraser’s men ahead on 35 minutes and held the lead until twenty minutes to go when Sheraldo Becker levelled the game up with a wonderful chipped effort from right-wing.

Becker then provided the ball for powerhouse striker Lars Veldwijk to surge through the Den Haag defence to score the winner. The big forward, on loan from Nottingham Forest, has now scored six goals this season after an unsuccessful campaign last year in England.

Willem II claimed a 3-1 victory at home to FC Utrecht. Erik Falkenburg nodded home a Lucas Andersen cross to open the scoring on 26 minutes and things got worse for the visitors when Sébastien Haller received a red card for kicking out at Sander van der Streek. Erik ten Hag’s team talk inspired Utrecht to level the game up within three minutes of the restart with a Nacer Barazite goal.

However, the game was not level for long, as five minutes later Utrecht left-back Louis Nganioni deflected Van der Streek’s cross into his own net. Man of the match, Lucas Andersen and Robbie Haemhouts combined to wrap up the game with twenty to go to give Willem II their first win of the season.

FC Twente are still without a permanent head coach and a win after a goal-less draw at SC Cambuur.

In Friday night’s game, N.E.C. Nijmegen claimed a 2-0 win over the struggling sc Heerenveen. Venezuelan international Christian Santos scored both goals as Dwight Lodeweges’ in feeling the pressure at Heerenveen, who have now gone five games without a win since their opening day victory over De Graafschap.

In Sunday’s final two games, Vitesse defeated De Graafschap 3-0 while FC Groningen beat AZ Alkmaar by 2-0.

The Arnhem side made short work of the Eredivisie newcomers as they lead 2-0 after just over twenty minutes of play. Georgian pair Guram Kashia and Valeri Qazaishvili notched the first two goals before 19-year-old Albanian striker Milot Rashica grabbed his first goal for the club on 73 minutes to finish the scoring.

Edwin van der Looi’s Groningen climbed into the top ten with the win over John van der Brom’s AZ. Summer signing Bryan Linssen and young substitute Mimoun Mahi grabbed the goals.

RESULTS

Friday 18th September

N.E.C. Nijmegen 2-0 sc Heerenveen

Saturday 19th September

SC Cambuur 0-0 FC Twente

Heracles 2-1 PSV

PEC Zwolle 2-1 ADO Den Haag

Willem II 3-1 FC Utrecht

Sunday 20th September

Roda JC 1-1 Feyenoord

Excelsior 0-2 Ajax

Vitesse 3-0 De Graafschap

FC Groningen 2-0 AZ Alkmaar

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: WEEK 5

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WEEK FIVE – 12TH-13TH SEPTEMBER 2015

Ajax slip up away to Twente as PSV thump Cambuur to make up some ground on the Amsterdammers – Will Burns is here with the full round-up of week five in the Eredivisie.

Ajax were forced to fight back from a two-goal deficit to earn a point away to FC Twente in Enschede on Saturday evening.

The hosts looking for their first win of the campaign took the lead after 19 minutes of play through a well worked corner between Hakim Ziyech and Felipe Gutiérrez. Ziyech forcefully hit a low pass into the area that daunted the Amsterdammers defence and the Chilean midfielder was alert to collect the ball and smash home past Jasper Cillessen.

Ajax, who host Scottish champions Celtic on Thursday night in their first Europa League group stage clash, were poor in front of goal, and were unable to grab the equaliser before Twente doubled their lead. Again from a corner, Twente caused danger in the visitor’s area and Jerson Cabral fired a shot towards goal. Ajax midfielder Nemanja Gudelj leant forward into the way of the oncoming shot and the ball ricocheted off the Serbian hand and out for another corner. However, referee Pol van Boekel spotted the handball and awarded a penalty much to Gudelj’s chagrin. The confident Ziyech stepped up and floated the spot-kick down the middle to add further insult to Cillessen after a shocking week in the internationals this past week for the goalkeeper.

Frank de Boer urged his men forward but looked to have no ‘plan B’ and rarely threatened Twente goalkeeper Joël Drommel with long range drives. The young stopper, aged only 18, was making his first professional start in Dutch football.

Looking at his side’s lacklustre display in front of goal, De Boer replaced Arek Milik for young Dane Viktor Fischer and within minutes of being on the field, Ajax had a goal back. Midfielder Riechedly Bazoer spotted Fischer’s run into the area and lofted a wonderful ball over the top of the Twente defence. The Danish international ran on and hit a wonderful first time side-footed sliding volley into the corner of Drommel’s goal as the keeper was forced to be just an onlooker.  It was 2-1 after 65 minutes and Ajax had gained some confidence which kept Twente in their own half for the majority of the remainder.

As time drew on however, Drommel’s dream debut turned into a nightmare. Another substitute Yaya Sanogo, who had been very vocal midweek about the lack of action he is seeing at Ajax, ran through away from goal and after the ball looked dead, Drommel stretched out and brought the Frenchman down in the area. Van Boekel pointed to the spot and Gudelj made amends for his earlier error and levelled the game up with ten minutes to go. It was a poor performance from De Boer’s men who will have to vastly improved midweek as they start their Europa League venture.

Defending champions PSV Eindhoven demolished ten-man SC Cambuur with a six goal thumping which lifts Phillip Cocu’s men up to fourth in the table. After a poor display against Vitesse before the international break, Cambuur goalkeeper Leonard Nienhuis was dropped to the bench for Harm Zeinstra by coach Henk de Jong. Zeinstra, unfortunately for him, was dropped into a baptism of fire as Cocu’s men were ruthless in front of goal, in particular Luuk de Jong.

The opening goal came with controversy which resulted in Cambuur having to deal with having only ten men on the pitch after just eight minutes. Mexican midfielder Andrés Guardado shot from the edge of the area after Zeinstra had made a good save from a De Jong effort and referee Kevin Blom had adjudged that Sander van de Streek had blocked the Mexican’s effort with his hand. Van de Streek protested but Blom pointed to the spot and dished out the red card to the Cambuur defender. Video replays were indecisive but De Jong coolly stepped up and sent Zeinstra the wrong way to give PSV the 1-0 advantage.

Three minutes later, De Jong grabbed his second goal to make it 2-0. After some great combination passing from Guardado and Maxime Lestienne on the left wing, it resulted in the Belgian whipping a cross over for the big striker to easily power through the aerial challenge of Vytautas Andriuškevičius and double PSV’s lead.

De Jong claimed his hat-trick before half-time tapping home after Zeinstra had blocked Luciano Narsingh’s effort which fell into the striker feet before crossing the line. The game was over for Cambuur at the half-time whistle, the question left in the match was how many were PSV going to win by?

Davy Pröpper notched his first goal for club on 56 minutes after right-back Santiago Arias found some space on the right to pull the ball back into the midfielder’s path on the edge of the area. Philip Cocu and Jürgen Locadia seemed to have patched things up as the young forward scored the final two goals after coming on mid-way through the second half. He hit a powerful low free-kick on 74 minutes and nodded home an excellent cross from Arias with just a minute to go to complete the scoring.

Even with the man advantage it was an impressive display from the PSV ahead of beginning life in the Champions’ League group stages, their first appearance since 2008. Hosting Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United along with keeping former star Memphis Depay at bay is their first task to meet head on this coming Tuesday night.

On Sunday, Feyenoord escaped with a narrow 1-0 win over Willem II at De Kuip. Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side failed to breach Kostas Lamprou’s goal until Eljero Elia notched a 67th minute winner just minutes after replacing Bilal Başaçıkoğlu as a substitute.

De Jong’s hat-trick was the only treble on Saturday night as Lars Veldwijk scored all three of PEC Zwolle’s  goals against Excelsior in a 3-0 win that keeps Ron Jans’ side undefeated this season. It could have been an even bigger win if Excelsior stopper Filip Kurto had not kept out a Stef Nijland penalty late on. The Rotterdam side lost their discipline deep into the second half seeing two red cards shown to Sander Fischer and Tom van Weert which may hurt their hopes next week against Ajax.

AZ Alkmaar gained their first win of the season in a 3-1 away win at rock bottom De Graafschap who still awaits their first points of the campaign. Serbian defender Rajko Brežančić notched AZ’s first on his debut after a wicked deflection off De Graafschap’s Robin Pröpper floated the ball over keeper Hidde Jurjus. The hosts pulled level just before half-time through an excellent goal from Nathaniel Will, but a quick fire double from Norwegian midfielder Markus Henriksen handed AZ the victory and hopefully a turning point for coach John van der Brom to build on.

FC Groningen romped to a great 3-1 home win over Dwight Lodeweges’ sc Heerenveen. Danny Hoesen gave the hosts a first minute lead and Bryan Linssen made it 2-0 after 16 minutes. Swedish midfielder Simon Thern gave Heerenveen a lifeline with twenty minutes remaning but Mimoun Mahi made the points secure before the whistle.

High-flying Heracles are still in second place after a narrow 1-0 win away to ADO Den Haag thanks to a Wout Weghorst goal, his fourth of the season.

FC Utrecht climb up to seventh after an impressive 2-1 win over Vitesse on Sunday afternoon. Willem Janssen gave Utrecht the lead before Guram Kashia grabbed an equaliser four minutes later for the Arnhem outfit. Peter Bosz side pressed for the winning goal but Bart Ramselaar cemented the points for Utrecht early in the second half.

In a battle of the newly promoted sides, Roda JC drew 0-0 with N.E.C. Nijmegen on Saturday evening.

RESULTS

Saturday 12th September

De Graafschap 1-3 AZ Alkmaar

Roda JC 0-0 N.E.C. Nijmegen

FC Twente 2-2 Ajax

SC Cambuur 0-6 PSV

PEC Zwolle 3-0 Excelsior

Sunday 13th September

FC Groningen 3-1 sc Heerenveen

Feyenoord 1-0 Willem II

ADO Den Haag 0-1 Heracles

FC Utrecht 2-1 Vitesse

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: WEEK 4

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WEEK FOUR – 28TH-30TH AUGUST 2015

Ajax still march on as PSV score a great win against rivals Feyenoord – Will Burns is here with the full rundown of week four in the Eredivisie.

Continuing their perfect start, Ajax head into the international break with four wins out of four and yet to concede a goal after Sunday’s 4-0 win over ADO Den Haag at the Amsterdam ArenA. Davy Klaassen and Anwar El Ghazi combined to notch the first two goals with Klaassen creating for El Ghazi to score the first goal with the latter repaying the favour minutes later to make it 2-0.

Frank de Boer’s side extended their lead through Joel Veltman nodding home a great ball from Nemanja Gudelj. El Ghazi finished a great ball from Arek Milik with just 15 minutes to go to complete the scoring.

Philip Cocu’s PSV climbed up to fifth with a 3-1 win over the previously undefeated Feyenoord, even though the Rotterdammers took an early lead. After just four minutes of play, PSV defender Jeffrey Bruma inadvertently slid Bilal Başaçıkoğlu’s cross into his own net to give the visitors the lead. Weary of the PSV counter attack, Feyenoord sat back and defended well until the 36th minute when Davy Pröpper lofted a wonderful ball over the Feyenoord back line for Belgian winger Maxime Lestienne to run onto and fire in his first goal for the club.

PSV dominated from there on in and after the break grabbed the lead through Colombian international right-back Santiago Arias before Jürgen Locadia converted a late penalty after Eljero Elia was adjudged to have brought down Pröpper in the area to give the defending champions the 3-1 victory.

Alfred Schreuder was dismissed by FC Twente on Sunday morning after his side fell to another defeat, this time at the hands of their common rivals, the high-flying Heracles on Saturday night. The Polman Stadion was jumping and the hosts gained the lead on 14 minutes through Iliass Bel Hassani before Wout Weghorst cemented the points fifteen minutes from time.

Earlier on Saturday, sc Heerenveen were held to a draw at home by PEC Zwolle regardless of taking an early the lead through Swedish winger Sam Larsson. On-loan striker Lars Veldwijk grabbed the equaliser getting on the end of a Sheraldo Becker’s cross on 59 minutes and game finished tied at 1-1.

FC Utrecht grabbed an impressive 2-0 win over FC Groningen as Edwin van de Looi’s side continue their poor start to the new campaign. Bart Ramselaar opened the scoring after half an hour from Sebastien Haller’s pass before Timo Letschert secured the points in stoppage time as Utrecht moved up to 10th and climbed above Groningen in the process. Groningen have now just four points from the opening four games.

Propping the table up are De Graafschap, who stay rock bottom after slumping to a 3-0 defeat to Excelsior. This was the first win of the campaign for Fons Groenendijk’s men with Sander Fischer, Bradley Kuwas and Daryl van Mieghem providing the goals as De Graafschap still search for their first points of the season.

Promoted Roda celebrated their third win of the campaign after they clinched a great away victory at AZ Alkmaar. New signing Rostyn Griffiths notched from a corner in the 36th minute to score the only goal of the game.

Vitesse’s loan star Lewis Baker started the Arnhem’s side rout in the second minute by converting a penalty against SC Cambuur. Abiola Dauda, Guram Kashia and Dominic Solanke, also on loan for the season from Chelsea, also netted in a 4-1 victory for Vitesse.

Willem II‘s miserable start to the campaign continued as they were defeated by N.E.C. Nijmegen by 1-0 in the Friday night game. Things are not clicking for Jurgen Streppel and his men and they feel to a Navarone Foor goal midway through the second half that proved to be the only goal of the game.

RESULTS

Friday 28th August

Willem II 0-1 N.E.C.

Saturday 29th August

FC Utrecht 2-0 FC Groningen

sc Heerenveen 1-1 PEC Zwolle

Excelsior 3-0 De Graafschap

Heracles 2-0 FC Twente

Sunday 30th August

Ajax 4-0 ADO Den Haag

AZ Alkmaar 0-1 Roda JC

Vitesse 4-1 SC Cambuur

PSV 3-1 Feyenoord

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: WEEK 3

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WEEK THREE – 21ST-23RD AUGUST 2015

Ajax and Feyenoord maintain their 100% records as PSV slip up again. Will Burns is on hand to give you the lowdown of all this weekend’s action.

Ajax continued their perfect start to the new campaign by easily dispatching N.E.C. Nijmegen, although it took a while for Frank de Boer’s side to get going. The deadlock was finally broken just after the half-time break as Nijmegen’s new goalkeeper Hannes Halldórsson underestimated Arkadiusz Milik’s effort from outside the area and the ball sailed into the net. The points were confirmed with four minutes to go after Rens van Eijden turned the ball into his own net to double Ajax’s lead. Yet to concede a goal this Eredivisie season so far, the Amsterdammers sit top of the league on nine points with Feyenoord behind them on goal difference in second.

Also with a 100% record is Feyenoord, who hosted Vitesse in the final game of the weekend and Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men left it late to defeat Peter Bosz’s outfit 2-0. After a poor first-half, Vitesse started the second period the brighter side but it was hosts that claimed all three points.

‘Captain Dirk’ Kuyt continues his fine form notching again, making it three goals in as many games, with another goal from the penalty spot after Guram Kashia bundled Terence Kongolo in the box. Vitesse hardly had a chance to reassign themselves before Bilal Başaçıkoğlu took advantage of some lapse defending by the Arnhem side to make it 2-0 and send De Kuip into raptures.

Reigning champions PSV had Luuk de Jong to thank for salvaging a point against sc Heerenveen on Saturday night. It was a slight improvement on PSV’s last three visits to the Abe Lenstra Stadion, as Heerenveen had previously won the last three meetings between the two. The hosts caused problems for Philip Cocu’s men throughout with the pace of wingers Sam Larsson and Luciano Slagveer made life for Joshua Brenet and Santiago Arias especially difficult.

It was ten minutes into the second half before we saw the first goal and it was young left-back Caner Cavlan successfully converting a penalty that opening the scoring. PSV midfielder Davy Pröpper held Lucas Bijker in the area and referee Eric Braamhaar pointed to the spot and although Jeroen Zoet dived the right way, Cavlan powered the penalty home.

Ten minutes later, PSV were level. A long ball out the back from Jeffrey Bruma met the head of Adam Maher in the Heerenveen area. Maher nodded the ball down for De Jong to volley home and clinch a point for the Eindhoven outfit. PSV may look at this as two points dropped as they now sit four points adrift of Ajax and Feyenoord in the title race after three games. After the contest, De Jong was interviewed by Fox Sports and slammed Braamhaar for giving Heerenveen a penalty, while rejecting many PSV appeals. He stated: “I really do not understand why they get a penalty for holding, while many of our players were held throughout the whole match.”

FC Groningen began the weekend clinching their first victory of the season in Friday night’s game hosting Excelsior. Edwin van de Looi’s men were held by the Rotterdam side for 70 minutes until substitute Mimoun Mahi opening the scoring. Mahi has just been on the pitch for five minutes before finding the net, replacing the disappointing, but visibly upset, Albert Rusnák. The Slovakian, formerly of Manchester City, booted the subs bench in anger after being replaced.

Back to the goal, after Jarchinio Antonia was pulled down by Kevin van Diermen on the edge of the area, with the defender lucky to escape a red card, Mahi set-up a free-kick. The winger hit a skimming low effort towards goal that creeped inside Filip Kurto’s near post to make it 1-0.

The 21-year-old Mahi, whose only other goal came in a 2-2 draw against FC Twente last March, managed to seal the winner with a lovely goal with just minutes to go, although with a suspicion of offside. The hosts broke on the counter as the Rotterdam outfit searched for an equaliser, and Jesper Drost threaded the needle for Mahi, who kept his composure and slotted home to cement the win.

Our player of the week has to be Heracles attacking midfielder Oussama Tannane who netted FOUR times in the first-half to help his side onto a 6-1 thrashing away to SC Cambuur. Along with Tannane’s quadruple goals, Wout Weghorst and Thomas Bruns added to the tally with Nigerian striker Bartholomew Ogbeche grabbed a consolation for Cambuur.

In a battle of two of the promoted sides, Roda JC ran out 1-0 winners against De Graafschap. A Tom van Hyfte first-half goal gave the Kerkrade side all three points.

In Sunday’s opener, PEC Zwolle defeated FC Twente by 2-1 at the IJsseldelta Stadion. Striker Lars Veldwijk converted a spot-kick to give Zwolle the lead, before Hakim Ziyech equalised just after the break. However, Ron Jans’ side would take all three points when Ben Rienstra scored the winner just after the hour mark.

Mike Havanaar was the hero in The Hague as he rescued a point for ADO Den Haag in their home game against FC Utrecht. Frenchman Sébastien Haller had given the visitors the lead on the half-hour mark scoring his fourth goal of the season.

AZ Alkmaar and Willem II  finished goal-less in a disappointing contest for both side, both looking for their first win of the season.

RESULTS

Friday 21st August

FC Groningen 2-0 Excelsior

Saturday 22nd August

Roda JC 1-0 De Graafschap

sc Heerenveen 1-1 PSV

SC Cambuur 1-6 Heracles

Sunday 23rd August

PEC Zwolle 2-1 FC Twente

ADO Den Haag 1-1 FC Utrecht

N.E.C. Nijmegen 0-2 Ajax

AZ Alkmaar 0-0 Willem II

Feyenoord 2-0 Vitesse

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: WEEK 2

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WEEK TWO – 14TH-16TH AUGUST 2015

Ajax and Feyenoord lead the way as PSV picked up their first win of the new campaign and Will Burns is on hand to give you the lowdown of all this weekend’s action.

Ajax sit top of the pile and are yet to concede a goal with their second 3-0 win in two weeks, this time over Willem II on Saturday evening at the Amsterdam ArenA. Anwar El Ghazi shined the brightest of them all, adding another two goals to his tally, but again like last Sunday against AZ Alkmaar, the score flattered the Amsterdammers as they did not seem to be at full tempo as of yet this early into the season.

Polish striker Arek Milik opened the scoring on 18 minutes after some sloppy passing from Willem II defender Stijn Wuytens. Jurgen Streppel’s side, throughout the game, played the ball from the back and on this occasion, Wuytens laid the ball straight into the path of Ajax midfielder Nemanja Gudelj. The Serbian spotted Davy Klaassen sitting on the right of the attack and played the ball into the playmaker. Klaassen whipped a ball into the back post where the unmarked Milik headed home to give Ajax the advantage.

Ajax went in at half-time a goal up and the second-half began slowly and very cagey as never team looked like they wished to take the risk to go for the next goal. After hitting an effort from close range on the post minutes later, El Ghazi finally brought the second goal for the hosts on the 67th minute lashing a powerful curling shot into the net from the edge of the area.

Frank de Boer’s men looked comfortable and the game seemed wrapped up, so he handed a debut to Czech Republic youth international Václav Černý with 15 minutes remaining. The 17-year-old winger appeared only twice last season for Jong Ajax in the Eerste Divisie but notched an impressive two goals in those outings.

In added time, Ajax put the cherry on top of the cake with El Ghazi’s second goal with a clinical counter attacking move. Arsenal loanee Yaya Sanogo, whom came on late in the second-half, held the ball up well in the middle of the pitch as Černý sprinted down the right-wing. The young Czech collected the ball and hit a first time pass into the path of Lasse Schöne. The Danish international fired the ball across the edge of the area to find El Ghazi who powered a shot at goal and the effort was far too strong for Willem II stopper Kostas Lamprou to keep out. El Ghazi (number #9 in the TDF Top 50), has four goals in just two appearances and looks to be the Amsterdammers’ main man in this year’s title charge.

Ajax and their bitter rivals Feyenoord are the only two teams with back-to-back wins as the Rotterdammers made a successful trip to SC Cambuur on Sunday afternoon. Marking his arrival with a goal was Michiel Kramer, who replaced Colin-Kazim Richards just after the hour mark. The €1.5m signing from ADO Den Haag netted with a diving header after a cross from the right from Bilal Başaçıkoğlu. The result finished 2-0 to Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men after Dirk Kuyt, took his tally to two in two and doubled the lead deep into stoppage time.

Also on Sunday, defending champions PSV easily dispatched FC Groningen with a 2-0 triumph. After a wonderful deep through ball from Maxime Lestienne, fellow winger Luciano Narsingh breached Groningen’s offside trap to finish coolly after just six minutes of play to put the Eindhoven side in front. Philip Cocu’s side pressed for a second goal and looked comfortable throughout with Groningen failing to break down the PSV midfield, commanded by the industrious Andrés Guardado.

After being spoilt rotten last year with the championship-winning performances, the Philips Stadion was fairly silent until Narsingh hit the winning goal deep into the second-half. It was a run-of-the-mill outing for PSV and their upcoming match with Feyenoord on August 30th is a mouth-watering prospect, and could be a real thriller in the title race.

Vitesse opened up the weekend’s festivities thrashing ten-man Roda JC by 3-0 after Ard van Peppen was dismissed on the stroke of half-time for a handball on the line. Lewis Baker, on-loan from feeder club Chelsea, converted the penalty. The visitors fought and had chances to claw back the game, however on 68 minutes, after a wonderful through ball from teenage full-back Kevin Diks (TDF Top 50 #33), Nigerian striker Abiola Dauda slotted home first-time to double the lead. The third and final goal was sublime and a beautiful effort from another Chelsea loanee, Nathan. The young Brazilian cut inside from the left wing and curled the perfect shot past Roda stopper Benjamin van Leer.

FC Twente suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat at home to ADO Den Haag to leave head coach Alfred Schreuder under immense pressure this early into the season. ADO debutant Mike Havanaar got the ball rolling just 12 minutes in. Ruben Schaken made it 2-0 on 27 minutes before Hakim Ziyech gave the home fans hope on a comeback after notching just before the hour mark. ADO central defender Vito Wormgoor cemented the points before French striker Edouard Duplan added a fourth with ten minutes remaining to add insult to injury for Twente.

Excelsior held AZ Alkmaar to a 2-2 draw in the late Saturday night game in a very even contest that could have went either way. Jeff Stans opened the scoring for the hosts however, the lead only lasted five minutes as Norwegian midfielder Markus Henriksen levelled the game up with an excellent counter attack goal. Tom van Weert put the Rotterdam outfit back in front just after the half hour mark. Substitute Robert Mühren nabbed an equaliser on 64 minutes as AZ pressed for a winner. However, never side could find that all important winner as the sides shared the points with Excelsior boss Fons Groenendijk was the happier of the two manager at the full-time whistle.

PEC Zwolle swept past De Graafschap on Saturday with three goals in sixteen second-half minutes to win 3-0 in Doetinchem. Wouter Marinus, Bart van Hintum and Sheraldo Becker scored the goals in a comfortable victory for Ron Jans’ men.

FC Utrecht and sc Heerenveen drew 1-1 with Luciano Slagveer scoring with just ten minutes to go to cancel out Sébastien Haller’s opener.

Finally, in their first game inside the brand-new Polman Stadion, Heracles handed N.E.C. Nijmegen a 3-0 defeat after the Eredivisie newcomers were reduced to ten-man as Marcel Appiah was dismissed before the hour mark. Oussama Tannane scored an early goal five minutes in to give the Almelo outfit the lead with Thomas Bruns adding a second before Appiah’s sending off. Wout Weghorst wrapped up the win and gave John Stegeman a boost after last weekend’s appalling defeat at the hands of Roda JC.

RESULTS

Friday 14th August

Vitesse 3-0 Roda JC

Saturday 15th August

De Graafschap 0-3 PEC Zwolle

Ajax 3-0 Willem II

FC Twente 1-4 ADO Den Haag

Excelsior 2-2 AZ Alkmaar

Sunday 16th August

PSV 2-0 FC Groningen

FC Utrecht 1-1 sc Heerenveen

SC Cambuur 0-2 Feyenoord

Heracles 3-0 N.E.C. Nijmegen

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: WEEK 1… Part Two

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WEEK ONE (PART TWO) – 11TH AND 12TH AUGUST 2015

So a goalkeeper scored an equaliser in the dying seconds with an outstanding back-heeled flick in the Eredivisie this week – Will Burns is here to report on the remaining five games in the Dutch top flight from week one.

Danish goalkeeper Martin Hansen was the toast of The Hague this past Tuesday after scoring an injury-time winner for ADO Den Haag in their opening day clash with defending champions PSV. Now anytime a keeper sprints up the pitch for a last minute set piece, it is always an exciting time to see if the big man can rise above all others to smash a header home past his opposite number.

However, this was no header – a poor free-kick from Kenji Gorre gave Hansen the option of instinctively flicking his boot up for a back-heel, which he connected perfectly with to skim the ball past Jeroen Zoet for the draw.

PSV had started well and took the lead, dubiously, through their new number ten, Adam Maher. Replays of the goal showed that Maher was offside when he received the ball on 23 minutes to put PSV in front. However, minutes later the score was all level. Colombian right-back Santiago Arias bundled over Aaron Meijers which looked outside the penalty area, but referee Richard Liesveld pointed to the spot and Ronald Alberg converted.

Luuk de Jong opened his account for the season just after the hour mark, simply pushing a header past Hansen after the ADO defence left the big striker unmarked until Hansen clinched a point with his dramatic leveller. A disappointing start for PSV’s looking to retain their Eredivisie title.

In Tuesday’s late game, Heerenveen were impressive in their 3-1 win over newly promoted De Graafschap. The Eredivisie new boys found themselves two goals down by half-time after Simon Thern took advantage of a defensive mix-up by Lion Kaak to slot past Hidde Jurjus in the De Graafschap goal. Debutant Mitchell te Vrede, a signing this week from Feyenoord, notching the second after some great work down the wing from the industrious Luciano Narsingh.

It was more of the same after the break and Thern headed home on 53 minutes for his second and Heerenveen’s third. A Vincent Vermeij header was just a consolation for the visitors and they look to turn things around on Saturday as they host PEC Zwolle.

Wednesday’s games began with a poor game in Groningen, as Edwin van der Looi’s side faced FC Twente which ended all square at 1-1. Twente took the lead when Renato Tapia was left alone at the front post and headed home a Hakim Ziyech corner just before the break. However, Groningen replied in the 83rd minute to salvage a point through a Michael de Leeuw goal after being played through on goal by substitute Danny Hoesen.

SC Cambuur battled back from two goals down to a 2-2 draw away at PEC Zwolle. Zwolle’s new defender Dirk Marcellis grabbed the opening goal on 31 minutes after some great footwork evading the Cambuur defence by fellow new signing Lars Veldwijk (on loan from Nottingham Forest). Minutes later, the hosts doubled their lead with a tremendous left-footed long drive from Sheraldo Becker giving Leonard Nienhuis no chance in goal. The Leeuwarden-outfit fought hard and clinched a lifeline with twenty minutes to go through Erik Bakker and seven minutes later the scores were level. Sjoerd Overgoor finished beautifully after Bakker laid it on a plate for the midfielder to secure a point.

In the final game of the week, N.E.C. Nijmegen left it late to defeat Excelsior. It was a uneventful and un-entertaining affair that ended with a Navarone Foor goal with just minutes remaining.

RESULTS

Tuesday 11th August

ADO Den Haag 2-2 PSV

sc Heerenveen 3-1 De Graafschap

Wednesday 12th August

FC Groningen 1-1 FC Twente

PEC Zwolle 2-2 SC Cambuur

N.E.C. 1-0 Excelsior

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: WEEK 1… Part One

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WEEK ONE (PART ONE) – 8TH AND 9TH AUGUST 2015

The opening weekend of the Dutch league season was severely affected by police strike action, and due to this, the nine Eredivisie games are to be spread across the majority of the week. Will Burns is on hand to give you a rundown of all the action from the first four matches.

In an amazing contrast on Sunday morning, after watching the European performances of the past fortnight, the disappointing Ajax travelled to Alkmaar to face the promising AZ and the tables were turned. The Amsterdammers left the AFAS Stadion with a 3-0 win after an Anwar El Ghazi brace followed by Nemanja Gudelj notching against the club he left in the summer.

Ajax scored all three inside the first-half with El Ghazi opening the scoring on 14 minutes with a sublime effort after some quick thinking from Mitchell Dijks. A quickly took free-kick allowed El Ghazi some space some 30 yards out and El Ghazi, after meeting his hero in the summer, hit a Ronaldo-like dipping shot giving AZ stopper Sergio Rochet no chance of saving.

It was a close affair with AZ hitman Vincent Janssen look the most likely to threaten for the John van der Brom’s side but it was his goalkeeper Rochet that handed the game to Frank de Boer’s outfit. El Ghazi got his head on the end of a whipping Gudelj free-kick and Rochet, although the Uruguayan stopped the effort, he failed to control and ended up fumbling the ball into the net to make it 2-0.

The third and final goal by Gudelj was also another that Rochet would not like to watch in the highlights that evening, after parrying the Serbian’s long range effort into the top corner of his goal.

AZ coach Van der Brom stated he felt sorry for his supporters that sold out the stadium for this match, but will look to make amends next weekend in Rotterdam against Excelsior. For De Boer, his side showed no Euro hangover as they look to challenge to regain the Eredivisie crown taken from them by PSV last season.

In the opening game of the season, Roda JC made a return to the Eredivisie with a hefty 3-1 win over Heracles even though the Almelo outfit went ahead after the half-hour mark through Iliass Bel Hassani. Although, the lead did not last long as four minutes later, Edwin Gyasi managed to weave his through to equalise. Early in the second half, Roda took the advantage with Tom van Hyfte scrambling the ball home after Gyasi’s header hit the post. Heracles pressed to level the game up but in the final moments, Hicham Faik smashed home a long range effort to cement all three points.

Dirk Kuyt also made his return to the Dutch top flight leading Feyenoord to a 3-2 victory over FC Utrecht at De Kuip on Saturday evening. Even though the Rotterdammers were reduced to ten-man after young right-back Rick Karsdorp was harshly dismissed by referee Kevin Blom early in the second-half. Turkish striker Colin-Kazim Richards gave Giovanni van Bronckhorst a great start to his managerial career heading home debutant Marko Vejinovic’s free-kick to make it 1-0.

After Karsdorp was shown his marching orders for his hard tackle on Christian Kum, Utrecht levelled the scoring through French striker Sébastien Haller, whom signed permanently from Auxerre last month on 75 minutes, however the score was only 1-1 for a few moments.

The equaliser fired up Van Bronckhorst’s side and they regained the lead two minutes later when substitute Tonny Vilhena, rumoured to be leaving the club, was at the back post to knock home Karim El-Ahmadi’s cross. With the De Kuip faithful in full force, Feyenoord pressed to kill the game off and Bilal Başaçıkoğlu was tripped in the area by Yannick Cortie, and Kuyt marked his return with a successful penalty conversion. Haller nabbed an injury-time consolation through a penalty kick of his own but it was Feyenoord that ended as the victors by three goals to two.

Looking to build on a successful campaign last season, Willem II boss Jurgen Streppel lead his team out full of confidence on Sunday afternoon against Peter Bosz’ Vitesse in a game that ended tied at a goal apiece. The Tilburg side took the lead just after the hour mark through new recruit Erik Falkenburg before Ukrainian midfielder Denis Oliynyk.

A further five contests will make up week one of the Eredivisie to take place Tuesday and Wednesday this week… if the police do not decide on another strike?!

Check back later this week for ‘Part Two’ of the Eredivisie report.

RESULTS

Saturday 8th August

Roda JC 3-1 Heracles

Feyenoord 3-2 FC Utrecht

Sunday 9th August

AZ 0-3 Ajax

Willem II 1-1 Vitesse

FIXTURES

Tuesday 11th August

ADO Den Haag vs. PSV

sc Heerenveen vs. De Graafschap

Wednesday 12th August

FC Groningen vs. FC Twente

PEC Zwolle vs. SC Cambuur

N.E.C. vs. Excelsior

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JOHAN CRUIJFF SCHAAL PREVIEW – PSV vs. FC Groningen

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SUNDAY 2ND AUGUST 2015

PSV-FCGroningen

PSV vs. FC GRONINGEN (17:00BST)

This season in the Netherlands will start, just as usual with the Dutch Super Cup. The last five Johan Cruijff Schaal finals have attracted an average of 42.000 fans, but the upcoming clash between FC Groningen and PSV will pull around 24,000 into the stadium, mainly due to the ticket prices.ill, it will be an interesting match between the last champions (PSV) and the last cup winner (FC Groningen) says Martijn Hilhorst. Both clubs have seen players come and go this transfer window. PSV lost a bunch of players including: Memphis Depay, Georginio Wijnaldum, Karim Rekik, but saw Davy Pröpper, Gaston Pereiro & Maxime Lestienne arriving in return. FC Groningen lost Tjaronn Chery, their attacking midfielder to Queens Park Rangers and their captain Maikel Kieftenbeld left for Birmingham City. But, arguably, is not that weakened with Jesper Drost, Bryan Linssen & Abel Tamata joining their squad. The match will be played in the Amsterdam Arena, the stadium of Ajax. The official name of the Dutch Super Cup is the ‘Johan Cruijff Schaal’. Fans from both sides are not that inspired to pay a large sum of money to buy a ticket and travel to Amsterdam. It is expected that only 24,000 fans will be in attendance. Image1 It’s the first official match for both sides, so it is hard to predict which players will be vital this Sunday, but based on quality expect Luuk de Jong (PSV) and ex Manchester City-player Albert Rusnák (Groningen) to make an impact. The latter played for both SC Cambuur and FC Groningen last season and impressed the Dutch fans with his skills, goals and great range of passing. He will – most likely – face Jorrit Hendrix as his direct opponent and young Hendrix will have his hands full. Rusnák can be described as a free roaming attacking midfielder who is constantly on the move. On the other side we have Luuk de Jong. The striker was abysmal in the foreign competitions at Borussia Monchengladbach and Newcastle United, but got fit, picked up his game and netted 20 in 32 matches as last season was heaven on earth for the Dutch striker. Receiving crosses from both sides and although Depay did not cross much, but the left-back Jetro Willems behind him was giving constantly crosses. This reflects in his assists: 13 with seven on them were for De Jong. On the other side he had right-winger Luciano Narsingh, who provided ten assists last season. It is truly exciting to see both clubs in their first official match of the season. PSV were absolutely dominant last season, however Andres Guardado and Jetro Willems both will not play this Sunday. The odds say that it should be an easy victory for PSV, but we expect a close match.

INFORMATION

Date: 2-8-2015 (17.00PM UK Time) UK TV: None Stadium: Amsterdam ArenA Referee: Bas Nijhuis Assistants: Rob van de Ven / Charl Schaap Fourth Official: Angelo Boonman

Probable Line-Ups

FC Groningen (4-3-3): Padt; Hateboer, Botteghin, Lindgren, Tamata; Hiariej, Rusnák, Tibbling; Antonia, De Leeuw, Linssen. PSV  (4-3-3): Zoet; Arias, Bruma, Isimat, Poulsen; Hendrix, Pröpper, Maher; Narsingh, De Jong, Lestienne. Name-MartijnHilhorst Click on Martijn’s name above to follow him on Twitter

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Total Dutch Football 2014/15 Manager of the Season

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The votes proved that there was only one manager worthy of our first annual ‘Manager of the Season’ award. All staff were asked to name their top three managers. Each first pick received three points, second place received two points and one point was awarded for the third pick. The results are below…

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Winner – PHILIP COCU (PSV) 15 points

Great players, do not make great managers right? In only his second full year as coach, former international midfielder Philip Cocu guided PSV to their 22nd Eredivisie championship title. As an inexperienced manager, Cocu has led a team with an average age of 23, to an emphatic league victory winning by gigantic 17 points over bitter rivals Ajax.

Next season perhaps sees Cocu’s biggest challenge, a Champions League campaign and trying to retain the Eredivisie shield without some important cogs in this season’s wheel. Memphis Depay has already departed, whilst big money moves for Georginio Wijnaldum and Jetro Willems are surely round the corner. Cocu will have a large amount of money to spend, but former international team-mates Frank de Boer and Giovanni van Bronckhorst will be building squads themselves for a title fight.

2nd – EDWIN VAN DE LOOI (FC Groningen) 8 points

The 43-year-old from Huissen, clinched his trophy for the Pride of the North defeating PEC Zwolle in the KNVB Beker final earlier this month, the first time in the clubs history. A eighth place finish was a great achievement after losing many big names last summer, and another punt at the Europa League next season is to look forward too.

3rd – RON JANS (PEC Zwolle) 3 points

The beginning of the season was a great start for Jans and Zwolle, defeating Ajax in the Johan Cruyiff Schaal. A KNVB Beker final defeat was not to be shamed of, and finishing in the top six, the highest in their history is an unbelievable turnaround from the little team that couldn’t a few years back.

OTHERS

HENK DIJKHUIZEN (Excelsior) 1 point

JURGEN STREPPEL (Willem II) 1 point

FRED RUTTEN (Feyenoord) 1 point

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