Tag Archives: Heerenveen

EREDIVISIE REPORT: Saturday 10th August 2013

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WEEK 2 – Saturday 10th August 2013

A fantastic day for football in Holland, starting off with the fastest goal in the Eredivisie… ever and ending with a 17-year-old star being born scoring a wonderful hat-trick.

Flying start helps PEC Zwolle along Heracles Almelo

HERACLES 1-3 PEC ZWOLLE

Heading into this game full of confidence after defeating Feyenoord on home soil last weekend, Zwolle fly into their meeting with Heracles and were leading after just 12 seconds. Jesper Drost scored the fastest goal in Eredivisie history. Straight from the kick-off the ball was played through by Mustafa Saymak to Drost down the left wing, the 20-year-old sprinted past Christian Dorda and slotted the ball home underneath the arms of goalkeeper Remko Pasveer.

The hosts were in shock and even more so when after 12 minutes they found themselves with a two-goal deficit. Zwolle’s Youness Mohktar feeding in South African midfielder Kamohelo Mokotjo on the edge of the box unmarked and as he was closed down by Pasveer and two defenders, he lofted the ball over them all and into the empty net.

On 42 minutes, Heracles got the goal they deserved after dominating the majority of the first-half possession. A corner was failed to be cleared by Zwolle’s defence and Matthew Amoah fired the ball across the goal, Maikel van der Werff spooned his clearance into the corner of Kevin Begios’ goal.

Zwolle thought they had a third and once again the trouble from Heracles came down the left side of their defence. Mateusz Klich found acres of space and played in Fred Benson to finish, but the striker was deemed to be offside.

Klich went onto miss penalty on 80 minutes but soon after substitute Guyon Fernandez arrived to score again for the second week in a row bagging a 91st minute tap-in after Heracles had pressed too many players forward searching for an equaliser.

Two wins in two for PEC Zwolle, which no-one would have predicted, and with players like Van der Werff (who played well before his own goal), Fred Benson, Jesper Drost and Kamohelo Mokotjo pulling the strings, and with Ron Jans leading all this, they could go far this year.

NAC Breda - SC Heerenveen

NAC BREDA 0-2 HEERENVEEN

Marco van Basten will be celebrating also this evening after his Heerenveen side have gained maximum points out of their first two games of the season.

The 4-2 home win against AZ Alkmaar last Saturday was not reflected in this game as De Superfriezen had to work hard for the 2-0 away win at NAC Breda.

The opening goal left a question – was it a fortunate goal or a stroke of genius? Hakim Ziyech looped a ball towards the far post with a free-kick from the right-wing and goalkeeper Jelle ten Rouwelaar could do nothing but watch as it nestled into the right-hand corner of his goal – see video below

Shortly after Alfred Finnbogason came close to scoring, but Belgian defender Sepp De Roover blocked the Iceland internationals effort.

After the internal, NAC had two good chances in quick succession to level the score, but Alex Schalk and Sarpong failed to get the ball past goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt. The home team pressed for the levelling goal for the remainder of the game but in fairness were not at their most dangerous.

Heerenveen cemented the points in the stoppage time, and it was that man Finnbogason on the scoresheet to score his third in two games.

Go Ahead Eagles - ADO Den Haag

GO AHEAD EAGLES 2-1 ADO DEN HAAG

After a good point last week against FC Utrecht, Go Ahead Eagles are unbeaten in their return to the Eredivisie, defeating ADO Den Haag 2-1 in their first home game of the season.

From the kickoff, Go Ahead looked the most eager of the two and went forward without any fear looking for the opening goal. On the back foot, ADO seemed intimidated and the Eagles smelt blood with Marnix Kolder looking to take up the role of predator.

Gino Coutinho kept his team on level terms saving chances from Kolder and Jacindo Antonia until the 21st minute when left back Xandro Schenk found the net with a beautiful free-kick from the edge of the area.

The goal shook some life into ADO, and they began to do some pressing of their own and when goalkeeper Eloy Room parried a header, Mike van Duinen was in the right place at the right time to prod in the equaliser.

The second half was a battle, and unlike the first-half more of an equal half but yet Go Ahead clinched the three points with just ten minutes remaining. Kolder scoring from the edge of the area from an acute angle to send the Deventer crowd into a frenzy.

This was the Eagles first win in the Eredivisie since 22nd March 1996 which was a 3-0 away win to Vitesse.

PSV - NEC

PSV 5-0 NEC NIJMEGEN

What can I say about this team already this season? What can I say about 17-year-old Zakaria Bakkali already this season? A star has well and truly been born – the young Belgian winger scored a hat-trick this evening of the highest quality and the Philips Stadion crowd left the stadium this evening very optimistic about their and his future.

It was a five-star performance from the young PSV side, the oldest player in the starting line-up was their captain Georginio Wijnaldum, aged 22.

The opening goal was created by Jurgen Locadia. The 19-year-old striker split the NEC defence open with a ball through to the 17-year-old Bakkali, who smashed a shot towards goal which crashed with the underside of the bar and into the goal. The noise the ball made hitting off the crossbar made the Eindhoven crowd erupt and the goal showed that this young team’s attacking confidence is going from strength to strength.

Minutes later, with the Philips Stadion noise levels rising with every touch of the ball as each play builded, they thought they had added a second when Swedish midfielder Oskar Hijlemark swung a ball into Locadia, but the striker was caught offside while finishing the move.

New loan signing Ji-Sung Park was onlooking in the stands but he must be thinking where he can fit into this team at 32 years of age.

PSV went in for the break only one goal for the good but two minutes into the second period, the Belgian was at it again as he doubled the lead. On the edge of the box, just to the right, he cut inside, dipping and faking, fooling the NEC defenders then curling a low drive past Karl-Johan Johnsson. The goalkeeper maybe should have done better but never the less it was 2-0.

On the hour mark, PSV found the net again. A quick free-kick was took by Adam Maher feeding the alert Wijnaldum through on goal while the NEC defenders slept and he finished coolly to make it three.

Within the 75 minute mark, PSV punished the Nijmegen side even further. Attacking left-back Jetro Willems switching his play into the middle of the pitch and layed a ball on for Wijnaldum, who was surging down the right to fire a shot across the goal and into the net. Another good goal for the young side but the best was yet to come.

The 81st minute proved to be not just the icing on the cake for PSV but a moment that young Bakkali and PSV fans will never forget. He clinched his first hat-trick of his career with a goal that Lionel Messi would be proud of. This time on the left wing, Willems and Locadia combined to flick the ball onto the prodigy. Collecting the ball just left to the edge of the box, he started twisting and turning until setting himself up just inside the box on his right foot. His effort was wonderful, it was perfect, a curling high placed shot into the top corner, just inside the bar and the post.

The crowd exploded for the fifth time, but on this occasion it was the loudest. On this performance, one may have to make this young team the favourites to finally end Ajax’s monopoly on the Eredivisie title.

HIGHLIGHTS

REMAINDER OF WEEK 2 FIXTURES

SUNDAY 11TH AUGUST

FEYENOORD vs. FC TWENTE

AZ ALKMAAR vs. AJAX

FC GRONINGEN vs. FC UTRECHT

RKC WAALWIJK vs. VITESSE ARNHEM

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Saturday 3rd August 2013

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WEEK 1 – Saturday 3rd August 2013

As usual in the Dutch top flight, it’s a case of goals, goals, goals on Saturday evening. Two games had five goals exchanged and Heerenveen vs. AZ Alkmaar had six, but as one extreme to the other, FC Twente and RKC Waalwijk failed to find a goal in their match.

ADO DEN HAAG 2-3 PSV

The Cocu Revolution made a great start to their title challenge with a 3-2 away victory over ADO Den Haag. PSV took a 3-0 lead thanks to Georginio Wijnaldum, a Danny Holla own goal and Jetro Willems within the opening 35 minutes. However Holla pulled one back on the stroke of half-time for the home side and young striker Mike Van Duinen reduced the deficit deep into injury time.

Nineteen-year-old forward Jurgen Locadia had an excellent chance to score in the opening minute but was thwarted by goalkeeper Gino Coutinho. PSV ‘keeper Jeroen Zoet was called into action for the first time in the 11th minute as he palmed away a long-range effort from Jerson Cabral.

A minute later and the visitors took the lead, new signing Stijn Schaars played in Wijnaldum and the captain slotted home at the far post.

Wijnaldum came very close to doubling the lead on 17 minutes with young prodigy Memphis Depay setting up Wijnaldum, he first touch was sublime, but his shot was subpar as the ball crept agonisingly wide of the post.

ADO had their chances too, as Cabral fired an effort on target but had his shot nodded away by Jeffrey Bruma.

PSV extended their lead in the 27th minute through an unlucky own goal by Holla. The defender tried to clear a long ball from Wijnaldum, but his looping header beat Coutinho.

Cocu’s young side, with five teenagers in the starting eleven, looked to have settled the match six minutes later. Left-back Willems wrong footed three defenders before blasting home.

PSV did not let up, and a minute later, looked for a fourth and the left-wing menace Depay looked likely to score, as he cut into the box and rounded two defenders but he sent his shot wide.

PSV sat back to protect the third goal lead but as it invited ADO on to the attack, they found a goal before half-time. Danny Holla making amends for his mistake by firing Ninos Gouriye’s dangerous cross past Zoet.

Diciating the tempo, PSV slowed down the pace of the game, with the home side enjoying the bulk of possession. Chances went begging when Wijnaldum headed Zakaria Bakkali’s free-kick over the bar and Locadia just could not connect with Depay´s cross. While ADO striker Van Duinen headed well wide over the bar in the 68th minute.

Van Duinen handed Den Haag a lifeline in second-half stoppage time, capitalising on a defensive slip but PSV held on to take all three points.

HIGHLIGHTS

NEC - FC Groningen

NEC 1-4 FC GRONINGEN

FC Groningen also made a winning start to their campaign defeating NEC by four goals to one at the Goffertstadion on Saturday evening, a margin of goals that makes them top the table as of time of writing.

Both NEC and Groningen were quite active this summer in the transfer market, capturing six new players. As Groningen signed known Eredivisie experience in Tjaronn Chery, Eric Botteghin and Nick van der Velden, NEC mostly signed players without Dutch top flight familiarity.

It was obvious last season that NEC could use some fresh blood in as coach Alex Pastoor stated at the start of the campaign that him aim was to guide the team the Europa League playoffs but in the last twelve games were only four points were collected, three of them against the relegated Willem II.

Groningen came flying out of the blocks and one of the new boys, Chery scored the opening goal after just ten minutes of play. Kalle Johnson, last season’s NEC third choice goalkeeper, was responsible for the goal. Filip Kostic’s shot from the edge of the area, changed direction, but the weak save from Johnson led Chery to grab his first goal for the club on his debut.

It was 2-0 on 27 minutes and again Chery was involved. He placed a through ball to Andraz Kirm and the Slovenian outwitted Johnson to double the lead.

The two goal advantage put the visitors in the driving seat with Navarone Foor replying for the hosts before the half-time whistle.

Howver, second-half strikes from David Texeira, on 54 minutes and a late Richairo Zivkovic goal put the result beyond doubt.

FC TWENTE 0-0 RKC WAALWIJK

After losing top stars, Nader Chadli and Leroy Fer, FC Twente looked toothless and clueless in their opener against a RKC Waalwijk side which they should be quite capable of defeating. Instead it was a poor game and neither side could find a goal.

Even RKC has made some major changes in their playing staff, coach Erwin Koeman had to say goodbye to Jeroen Zoet, Cuco Martina, Henrico Drost, Guy Ramos and Ard van Peppen. Hardly any replacements of the calibre of the players that have departed have came in, and even after the Florian Jozefzoon’s transfer to PSV, there was not much money for new players.

The hosts did have their chances to win the match, especially through Willem Janssen and Luc Castaignos but the new RKC goalkeeper Jan Seda, had an excellent game and kept their best efforts out.

HEERENVEEN 4-2 AZ ALKMAAR

Heerenveen and AZ shared six goals in a high tempo match at a packed Abe Lenstra Stadion. Marco van Basten’s side showed that the administrative problems at the club have no impact on the performance on the field.

AZ had the best chance inside the first ten minutes when Swedish midfielder Viktor Elm found himself unmarked in the area and fired from close range straight at his compatriot Kristoffer Nordfeldt.

Heerenveen looked a different side to last year, with the high pressure and tenacity winning balls back deep into the opposition half. They grabbed the lead after 22 minutes when a penalty was awarded after a handball from Jan Wuytens inside the box. Icelandic hot shot Alfred Finnbogason made no mistake with the spot-kick, powering the shot into the right corner past Esteban Alvarado.

AZ were close to equalising minutes later but Nemanja Gudelj’s header from a corner clipped the crossbar and went over.

The visitors did grab the leveller, five minutes after the internal, with a tremendous solo effort from right-back Mattias Johansson. The Swede surged up the pitch with the ball stuck to his feet, played a lovely one-two inside the area with Aron Jóhannsson, and smashed it home.

The teams were only level pegging for just less than four minutes as Finnbogason clinched his second of the game. It was a poacher’s goal by the Iceland international, tapping home from a save from a lashing shot from Pele van Anholt.

Two minutes later, Van Anholt also got on the scoresheet as Heerenveen extended their lead to 3-1. The defender, who loves to get forward, arrived into the box as Finnbogason was doing some great play on the left of the area. The Icelandic squared the ball for Van Anholt to side-foot home with a neat finish.

The goals quietened down but the action did not, the hosts were reduced to ten-men after on-loan defender Mitchell Dijks was shown his marching orders for a strong but late challenge on Steven Berghuis. Luckily the striker was not seriously injured and continued the match.

AZ were given a chance to get back into the game when Rajiv van La Parra was deemed to have handle the ball in the area. The newly stated American international Jóhannsson converted perfectly hitting the inside of the left post on the way in.

The scoring had not been completed with the Van Basten’s boys when Van La Parra hit a superb curling effort from just outside the area to complete a 4-2 victory for Heerenveen.

HIGHLIGHTS

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EREDIVISIE EUROPA LEAGUE PLAYOFF REPORT: 19th May 2013

Edson Braafheid (centre) notched a goal at either end as Twente defeated Groningen

FC Twente 3 (Braafheid 12, Gutierrez 84, Chadli 90)

FC Groningen 2 (Braafheid 23OG, Krim 26)

FC Twente win 4-2 on agg

FC Twente advance to the finals of the Europa League playoffs after two late strikes made them surpass FC Groningen’s fight-back in a 4-2 aggregate victory on Sunday morning.

Edson Braafheid scored a goal at either end, but first scoring for his side with a low drive from the edge of the box to put his team in a comfortable 2-0 position after 12 minutes.

A horribly sliced attempted clearance by Braafheid equalised for the visitors and Slovenian Andreas Kirm took advantage of a terrible goalkeeping error. Twente’s Sander Boschker totally mistiming the rush-out and Kirm nipped in front of the ‘keeper and finishing coolly to put Groningen in the lead.

But goals in the last six minutes put the hosts through. A whipping cross by Swedish defender Rasmus Bengtsson was headed in by Chilean trickster Felipe Gutierrez. On 84 minutes, Gutierrez rose above his fellow Chilean Stefano Magnasco at the back post to head past the helpless Marco Bizot.

The win was cemented with an excellent finisher from the impressive Nacer Chadli. Unchallenged just inside the penalty area, the Belgian curled the ball into the corner to make it 4-2.

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FC Utrecht 2 (Toornstra 9, 82)

Heerenveen 1 (Uth 89)

FC Utrecht win 3-1 on agg

FC Utrecht will meet Twente on Thursday evening in the first leg of the final after seeing off Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen 3-1 on aggregate on Sunday afternoon.

A stunning long-range free-kick from midfielder Jens Toornstra opened the scoring after only nine minutes, which meant Van Basten’s eleven had to chase the game.

And chase they did, especially Icelandic hotshot Alfreð Finnbogason going close on many occassions with Utrecht goalkeeper Robin Ruiter holding his goal well. The game was finished off for good with eight minutes to go with Toornstra grabbing his second goal.  A surging run down the right by Mark Van der Maarel was hit straight at goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfledt and Toornstra smashed home the rebound.

The Friesen side grabbed a consolation goal from Mark Uth, which initially looked like it has been chalked off after Joey van den Berg had dived in the box before Uth took his shot. The right decision was made by referee and the goal was given.

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EREDIVISIE EUROPA LEAGUE PLAYOFF REPORT: 16th May 2013

Narrow 1-0 away wins for FC Twente and FC Utrecht give both teams a great platform to progress in this weekend’s second legs in the Europa League playoffs.

Twente players gather around Felipe Gutiérrez after his goal

FC Groningen 0

FC Twente 1 (Gutiérrez 22)

FC Twente took a big step towards the second round of the playoffs to qualify for European football, to salvage something from a poor season overall for the Enschede team. Twente finished sixth in the Eredivisie this season and the 1-0 win at FC Groningen on Thursday gives them a great chance of proceeding further on Sunday in the return leg.

With a half empty stadium and the rain pouring down, it was a desolate atmosphere in Groningen and the home crowd had nothing to cheer about after 22 minutes.

After Luc Castaignos and Willem Janssen had missed earlier opportunities, Felipe Gutiérrez made a beautiful, subtle movement to finish home for the only goal of the game, in the 22nd minute from a cross by former Groningen midfielder Dusan Tadic. Castaignos thought he had made it 2-0 late in the second period but it was chalked off for offside by the linesman.

The visitors then kept the upper hand throughout the game and they should have extended the lead through Roberto Rosales and Tadic. The home side were created chances occasionally, but in all fairness Twente goalkeeper Sander Boschker was barely tested.

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Cedric van der Gun is greeted with congratulation by his team for his vital goal

Heerenveen 0

FC Utrecht 1 (van der Gun 69)

FC Utrecht take home a 1-0 advantage against Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen, whose poor run continues.

It was a lacklustre first-half, as both teams seemed very hesitant to press forward and leave gaps in defence. After having played 69 minutes, the visitors took the lead through a Cedric van der Gun header, the striker meeting a cross from Jacob Mulenga.

Heerenveen pressed for a equaliser but to no avail, and Van Basten’s team will have to find form quickly to keep their European adventure alive when they meet again on Sunday.

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NEWS: KNVB release financial report

Three clubs in Dutch football are in poor financial shape, the KNVB announced on Wednesday morning. Based on their interim results, ADO Den Haag, Fortuna Sittard and FC Emmen are listed in Category 1.

Clubs listed in Category 1 must work on their financial recovery and gain Category 2 status within three years. The KNVB will investigate each case and set-up a plan to clean up each club’s financial difficulties.

The report, compared with earlier this year, is a vast improvement. In January, five clubs were listed in Category 1 and were put under scrutiny by the organisation. Helmond Sport and FC Dordrecht were then also listed as being in financial danger but the clubs reported last month to now being classed in the second category. The now-defunct SC Veendam, who went bankrupt last month, is removed from the list, while FC Emmen have dropped into Category 1 from the last report.

Mark Boetekees, who is responsible for the KNVB report is pleased with the progress. “It’s good to see that clubs now realise that a good and consistent financial policy is important. They must continue to work on financial recovery to ensure that their future is secure.”

In total they are 23 of the 34 professional clubs in the safe category 2. These are: AZ, FC Den Bosch, SC Cambuur, FC Dordrecht FC Eindhoven, Excelsior, Feyenoord, De Graafschap, Helmond Sport Heracles Almelo, MVV Maastricht, NAC Breda, NEC, RKC Waalwijk Roda JC, Sparta Rotterdam, Telstar, FC Twente, FC Utrecht, Vitesse, VVV-Venlo, Willem II and PEC Zwolle.

Eight clubs are in excellent financial condition and are listed in Category 3: Ajax, Almere City FC, Go Ahead Eagles, FC Groningen, Heerenveen, FC Oss, PSV and FC Volendam.

All clubs have to submit their figures to the federation for the year 2013/14 by the next financial assessment, which will be on June 15.

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NEWS: Serbian pair to join Benfica in July

Filip Djuricic sealed a move with Benfica

Today, Eredivisie side SC Heerenveen announced that Serbian playmaker Filip Djuricic will join Portuguese giants Benfica on July 1st when the European transfer window opens.  He will be joined in Portugal by fellow Serbian Miralem Sulejmani (formerly of Heerenveen) whom will join from Ajax on a free transfer.

Twenty-one year old Djuricic, had attracted interest from big clubs in Holland, but the Portuguese side has beaten them all for the midfielder’s signature. The transfer fee  have not been disclosed at this time, but the deal has been confirmed on Heerenveen’s official website and it is understood that both players have signed five-year contracts.

Technical director Johan Hansma released a statement on the club’s official website: “It’s good for our club that Djuricic is leaving for a big European side. As football fans we regret the departure of Filip, because he gave us a lot of wonderful moments but Filip is ready for his next step in his career and we wish him all the best.”

Waving goodbye to Ajax – Miralem Sulejmani

Sulejmani, 24, has been a bit of an outcast at Ajax, the Amsterdammers had paid €16.25 million to Heerenveen for him, breaking the Dutch transfer-record in July of 2008, but he will leave the club on a free. The attacker has made a total of 158 appearances for Ajax, and has 38 goals to his name.

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Week 32 – Friday 26th April 2013

Eredivisie_LogoAZ Alkmaar jumped up to eleventh in the Eredivisie with a shocking emphatic 4-0 win away to Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen.  American international Jozy Altidore grabbed his 22nd and 23rd goals of the season in the process.

Goalscorer Jozy Altidore and Adam Maher celebrate

With AZ coach and leader Gertjan Verbeek sitting in the stands due to a suspension many pundits would have wrote off their chances of defeating a strong Heerenveen side who have won six of their last eight games with only one defeat. The Cheese Farmers  proved those pundits wrong in the Friday night and thumped Van Basten’s men by four goals.

Without the creativity of seasoning Filip Djuricic, who also sat in the stands with a hamstring injury, Heerenveen looked to have no inspiration or determination. Altidore grabbed the first goal after breaking the offside trap and getting goal side of central defender Jeffrey Gouweleeuw. The American placed a shot that forced a save out of goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt but the ball gratefully feel perfectly for Altidore’s head to nod the away team ahead.

Two minutes later, the lead was doubled. From the left, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson whipped in a vicious ball to the back post where Roy Beerens was arriving to smash past Nordfeldt.

Heerenveen came out the second half looking for a revival, unfortunately for the home side, this was not produced and the game was all but finished just after the hour.

A great run by Guðmundsson ended by the Icelandic getting on the scoresheet after a cute little backheel from Altidore. The icing was put on the cake three minutes later after AZ were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box and Altidore grabbed his second. The striker stepped up and took the free-kick quickly and curled it in the left top corner giving Nordfeldt no chance.

Heeremveen currently sit in seventh with a chance of making the Europa League next year through the playoffs while AZ are placed 11th and well out of the relegation trouble now.

LEAGUE TABLE

20130426 - Eredivisie

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Week 30 – Sunday 14th April 2013

Eredivisie_LogoAjax have one hand on their third consecutive Eredivisie title after they defeated rivals PSV 3-2 at the Phillips Stadion on Sunday afternoon. Feyenoord dropped out of the race as they were held to a disappointing draw at RKC Waalwijk.

Grieving players from Willem II after the miserable defeat.
Willem II players look dejected after the late 3-2 defeat at Heerenveen

Heerenveen 3 (El Ghanassy 53, Finnbogasson 55, 84P)

Willem II 2 (Ippel 12, Joachim 80)

Marco van Basten’s side will be thanking his lucky stars and Alfreð Finnbogason after his late penalty gave Heerenveen all three points when it looked like they had gave them away. The bottom side, Willem II now look resigned to relegation when glancing at the league table but they did take the lead at Abe Lenstra Stadion.

After just 12 minutes, Willem found themselves ahead. 21 year old midfielder Ricardo Ippel grabbed a rebound from a free-kick and volleyed first time, beneath the crossbar which keeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt should have done better with. The break came and Heerenveen were lucky just to be the solitary goal down but they arrived back out a different beast.  This showed on 53 minutes as Belgian winger Yassine El Ghanassy calmly finishing from the back post after receiving a Patrick van Aanholt cross. Two minutes later, Heerenveen had competed the turnaround. Icelandic striker Finnbogason grabbed his 22nd in the league this season with an easy tap in. Some sloppy defending by the home side let Tim Cornelisse thread the ball through to Luxembourg striker Aurélien Joachim to grab a 80th minute leveller. The Tilburgers did not hold out to the point for long as captain Philipp Haastrup got caught guilty of hand ball. Taking his tally up to 23 for the league season, Finnbogason placed the penalty home and clinched the win.

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Jozy Altidore (centre) grabbed a hat-trick in AZ’s 6-0 win

AZ Alkmaar 6 (Altidore 28P, 34P, 37, van der Hoorn 45+1OG, Henriksen 61, Jóhannsson 90)

FC Utrecht 0

AZ’s relegation worries were eased after a huge 6-0 win over nine-man Utrecht which included a first-half hat-trick from American international striker Jozy Altidore. Utrecht would have felt their were fighting a losing battle when they had Anouar Kali and Jan Wuytens both sent off before Altidore put AZ 2-0 up after 34 minutes. Kali was sent off for a second yellow after conceding the penalty with a foul on Altidore in the 27th minute, this was the 1500th red card in the league.

To make matters worse for Utrecht, before the second penalty, first choice goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter had to be replaced due to injury and Jeroen Verhoeven found himself beaten five times before the final whistle.

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Koeman: "Diep teleurgesteld in mijn ploeg"
Feyenoord coach Ronald Koeman disappointed with his team’s display today

RKC Waalwijk 1 (Duits 55)

Feyenoord 1 (Pelle 13P)

Feyenoord let their title hopes slip through their fingers after only achieving a draw away to RKC. Feyenoord started well and went ahead with Italian forward Graziano Pelle hiting a penalty home for his 23rd of the season.

In the 55th minute, RKC drew level with an individual effort from Sander Duits that shattered Feyenoord hearts and their title dreams.

Feyenoord coach Ronald Koeman stated he was “deeply disappointed in his team” in an TV interview afterwards.

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PSV - Ajax
Christian Eriksen wheels away after putting Ajax 2-1 up

PSV 2 (Lens 41, 67)

Ajax 3 (Sigthorsson 31, Eriksen 50, Boerrigter 77)

Ajax look set to be champions again after defeating PSV 3-2 and now have a five point gap between themselves and second place Vitesse. It was the visitors that took the lead with striker Kolbein Sigthorsson jumping onto a mis-kicked Mark van Bommel ball just after half an hour gone. Ajax maybe should have had a chance to extend the lead with a penalty when young Danish striker Viktor Fischer was grabbed by Van Bommel just inside the box but nothing was given.

Ajax must have been hoping to take the lead in at half time, but this was not to be. Sloppy play by Christian Eriksen in his own half let Georginio Wijnaldum steal in and knock the ball onto Kevin Strootman.  Strootman kept his cool, one on one with Jasper Cillessen and slided the ball through to the unmarked Jermaine Lens to finish.

PSV started the brighter at the start of the second half but it was Ajax to hit them on the counter attack and go 2-1 up. It was Christian Eriksen who made up for his first half error on 50 minutes with a wonderful solo effort that he smashed home at Boy Waterman’s front post. PSV pressed as Ajax sat back and defended their lead. On 67 minutes, PSV were back level. The impressive Dries Mertens’ whipping free-kick rattled off the post and Lens was there again to poke home with a well-controlled finish inside the post.

Ajax were furious just a minute later, when they should have definitely been awarded a penalty kick this time. Midfielder Lasse Schone sped past Jetro Willems and the young left-back brought the Dane down in the box, referee Björn Kuipers waved claims away. PSV replaced Willems with Erik Pieters and Ajax switched Christian Poulsen for Derk Boerrigter and on 76 minutes, both were involved in the fifth goal of the match. With his first touch of the game, Boerrigter pounced on a terrible mix-up between goalkeeper Waterman and Pieters to regain the lead.

PSV will need Ajax to drop two games to get back in the title race but with only four games left in the league season, it certainly looks like the title will be heading to Amsterdam again.

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LEAGUE TABLE

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Week 29 – Sunday 7th April 2013

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Frank de Boer’s Ajax resumed their place at the top of the pile at home to Heracles and Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen was defeated by Groningen to end a four-game winning streak.

Jens Toornstra scores against his former club ADO

FC Utrecht 1 (Toornstra 71)

ADO Den Haag 0

The sun was shining in Utrecht this afternoon, the match between Utrecht and ADO did not. It was a poor contest narrowly won by a 71st minute Jens Toornstra strike, against his old club. Both goalkeepers were hardly tested throughout, but unfortunately for Utrecht stopper Robbin Ruiter went down with a groin injury that looked serious and he may be absent for some time.

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Bacuna hits home the penalty in Groningen’s 3-1 win

FC Groningen 3 (Raitala 3OG, Bacuna 42P, de Leeuw 87)

Heerenveen 1 (Mareček 70)

Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen side made the worst possible start when Finnish defender Jukka Raitala put through his own net after three minutes, before a Leandro Bacuna spot-kick three minutes before the break extended their advantage. Substitute Lukas Mareček pulled a goal back in the 70th minute but midfielder Michael De Leeuw overhead kick in the penalty area cemented the win for Groningen with three minutes left.

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NEC Nijmegen 1 (Conboy 19)

AZ Alkmaar 1 (Maher 17)

After four straight losses for NEC a well deserved draw at home to relegation threatened AZ was a welcome result. Hot property Adam Maher, rumoured to leave AZ in the summer, scored a lovely solo effort on 17 minutes from outside the box to fire past Gabor Babos in goal. Two minutes later, NEC were level with Kevin Conboy hit a wonderful curling free-kick straight home. NEC got themselves in trouble on the hour when Nick van der Velden stupidaly kicked out at Giliano Wijnaldum. AZ had a golden opportunity spurned to take all three points in injury time when Aron Jóhannsson hit his shot straight into the arms of Babos.

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Lasse Schone opened the scoring for Ajax today

Ajax 4 (Schöne 13, Sigþórsson 52, Babel 75, Eriksen 84)

Heracles 0

League leaders Ajax are now back to three points ahead of PSV and Vitesse has they turned over Heracles Almelo 4-0 although having just ten men for the majority of the game. Ajax’s Danish midfielder Lasse Schöne gave them an early lead after 13 minutes after a one-two with Kolbeinn Sigþórsson.

Heracles did come back into the game without scoring a goal but forced enough pressure on Kenneth Vermeer, so much so that he found himself having an early bath. The pacey Geoffrey Castillion outpaced Toby Alderweireld and was through on goal but Vermeer rushed out and brought the striker down on the edge of the box. On 48 minutes, Vermeer was sent off immediately and he will now miss Ajax’s crunch title clash with PSV next weekend.

Ajax did not panic and found themselves two goals to the good four minutes later. Icelandic striker Sigþórsson smashed a close range shot against the crossbar and latched on the rebound for 2-0. On 75 minutes, Ryan Babel smashed home a Schöne cross and Christian Eriksen finished the rout six minutes from time.

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LEAGUE TABLE

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Week 28 – Saturday 30th March 2013

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Feyenoord’s dream of their first Eredivisie title since 1999 was left in tatters on Saturday night after Marco Van Basten’s underperforming Heerenveen side hit two late goals to take a 2-0 win at Abe Lenstra Stadion.

Heerenveen’s Jeffrey Gouweleeuw smashes a shot into the Feyenoord box

Heerenveen 2 (Finnbogason 85, El Ghannassy 89)

Feyenoord 0

In a poor first half, it was the hosts who made the best chance – Serbian playmaker Filip Djuricic forcing Erwin Mulder to produce a decent save. It was the Serb with another superb solo effort just shortly after the break nearly put Heerenveen ahead, but, after a mazy run, the ball smashed off the post and the visitors were able to clear their lines.

The match looked to end in a goalless draw, but belatedly came to life just five minutes from time. Hot prospect Jeffrey Gouweleeuw, a central defender, made a surging run into box and clipped the ball onto hitman Alfred Finnbogason who put the hosts 1-0 up. Moments later, Ronald Koeman’s Feyenoord were like a team possessed and seemed likely to pull one back. Wesley Verhoek with a great effort from the edge of the box but Swedish goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt was well positioned to make the save.

With the game heading towards stoppage time, the hosts provided one final flourish to ensure the three points. Belgian Yassine El Ghanassy, on loan from Gent, slotted the ball home from the edge of the area to complete a 2-0 win.

The result leaves Feyenoord in third.

HIGHLIGHTS (in Dutch)

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FC Twente 1 (Brama 83)

NAC Breda 1 (van der Weg 50)

Twente captain Wout Brama hit a long range shot, although deflected, past NAC ‘keeper Jelle ten Rouwelaar to clinch a point for his side and keep their hopes of playing avoiding the Europa League playoffs alive. Kenny van der Weg had put the visitors ahead just after the break with after a messy scramble from a free-kick.

Twente sit in joint fifth but need to make up six points on Vitesse (play PEC Zwolle at home today) to clinch a top four place to gain an automatic Europa League berth.

HIGHLIGHTS (in Dutch)

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Willem II 1 (Haemhouts 26)

FC Groningen 2 (Bacuna 66P, Texeira 72)

Willem II are routed to the bottom of the league and despite a tremendously spirited performance against Groningen on Saturday, they looked doomed to be relegated.

The home side took the through Robbie Haemhouts on 26 minutes after some great link up play with Virgil Misidjan and Kees van Buuren. Willem pressed for a second and looked certain to finish with a victory but in the second half, Groningen turned it around. A corner was swung in on 65 minutes and Willem’s Luxembourg international striker Aurélien Joachim got caught with a dubious handball and Leandro Bacuna smashed home the resulting penalty to tie things up.

The Tilburg side must be upset after dominating the game and they were even more so a few minutes later.  Bacuna placed a wonderful cross from the right onto the head of Uruguayan David Texeira who planted a gliding header into the corner of the goal. You have to feel sorry for Willem as they lost this game when they should have won it comfortably on the basis of their play.

Willem sit with only 17 points, nine adrift from safety but only four away from VVV Venlo in the relgation play-off position.

HIGHLIGHTS (in Dutch)

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FC Utrecht 2 (Duplan 5, de Kogel 16)

VVV Venlo 1 (Linssen 37)

Utrecht sit comfortable in sixth after two early first half goals settled their game with 17th placed VVV Venlo. After only 5 minutes Édouard Duplan got on the scoresheet from a corner.  Belgian Jan Wuytens smashed a header onto the crossbar and Frenchman Duplan knocked home the rebound.

Venlo’s problems were made worse on 16 minutes when striker Leon de Kogel grabbed Utrecht’s second after a horrendous blunder from the VVV defence. Young on-loan defensive pairing of Kaj Ramsteijn (from Feyenoord) and Nils Röseler (from Twente) tried to play the ball in their own box but de Kogel pounced to place the ball into Finnish goalkeeper Niki Mäenpää’s goal. It was a horrendous blunder by Röseler that displays the troubles that Venlo has suffered this season.

Bryan Linssen grabbed a first half consolation after a wicked cross from Oğuzhan Türk was hit by Robert Cullen.  Cullen’s shot was saved but Linssen showed his instincts to force the ball home at the second attempt.

HIGHLIGHTS (in Dutch)

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