Tag Archives: Heracles Almelo

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Heracles Almelo 4-0 De Graafschap

Fortuna Sittard 4-4 Willem II

VVV Venlo 3-0 NAC Breda

Excelsior 3-3 SC Heerenveen

Vitesse Arnhem 1-1 ADO Den Haag

Feyenoord 1-0 FC Utrecht

FC Emmen 0-1 PEC Zwolle

FC Groningen 1-3 AZ Alkmaar

PSV Eindhoven 3-0 AFC Ajax


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

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

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

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

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


De Graafschap 1-2 VVV Venlo

ADO Den Haag 0-7 PSV Eindhoven

Willem II 2-2 Excelsior

AFC Ajax 3-0 FC Groningen

AZ Alkmaar 1-1 Feyenoord

SC Heerenveen 3-5 Heracles Almelo

FC Utrecht 1-2 FC Emmen

NAC Breda 2-3 Fortuna Sittard

PEC Zwolle 0-2 Vitesse Arnhem


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


FC Emmen 1-1 De Graafschap

VVV Venlo 1-1 SC Heerenveen

PSV Eindhoven 6-1 Willem II

Excelsior 2-4 ADO Den Haag

Fortuna Sittard 1-1 FC Utrecht

Fc Groningen 0-1 PEC Zwolle

Heracles Almelo 3-2 AZ Alkmaar

Vitesse Arnhem 0-4 AFC Ajax

Feyenoord 4-2 NAC Breda


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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Tadic to the rescue for Ajax


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

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

Image result for dusan tadic

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

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

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

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

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

Results: Week 2

FC Groningen 0-1 Willem II

NAC Breda 3-0 De Graafschap

VVV Venlo 0-1 AFC Ajax

Fortuna Sittard 1-2 PSV Eindhoven

Heracles Almelo 4-2 ADO Den Haag

FC Utrecht 2-0 PEC Zwolle

Feyenoord 3-0 Excelsior

FC Emmen 1-4 AZ Alkmaar

SC Heerenveen 1-1 Vitesse Arnhem


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Eredivisie Standouts: No. 4 – Brandley Kuwas

It is without a doubt that the Netherlands’ three biggest club sides are AFC Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and reigning Champions Feyenoord, however scratch beneath the surface of the Eredivisie and there continues to be a common theme year after year; a wealth of fantastic young players with raw, untapped potential.

In this new series exclusive to Total Dutch Football, Joe Donnohue looks at one of the ‘Eredivisie Standouts’ who continues to leave his mark on the league outside of the traditional ‘Big Three’ squads.

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Brandley Kuwas – Heracles Almelo

It may only be March but it is not difficult to predict who will be collecting Heracles Almelo’s Player of the Season award. 25-year-old right-winger Brandley Kuwas is a shoe-in for the nomination thanks to a season of stellar performances on the right flank.

Kuwas first gained the attention of many in his match-winning display in the opening gameweek of the Eredivisie season, grabbing an assist and a goal in a 2-1 comeback victory over AFC Ajax. It was during this game that the Curaçao international showcased his main attributes. As a left-footed right-winger it was of little surprise to see that both of Heracles’ goals came from the right-hand-side of the pitch. Cutting inside onto his favoured left on both occasions, Kuwas punished the Amsterdammers.

However, unlike many players who simply up their game against top opposition, Kuwas has maintained the high level throughout the entire season to date. Four goals and eleven assists later and he is one of the Eredivisie’s leaders in terms of direct goal involvement. His haul of eleven assists is the league’s best, two more than nearest challengers Hakim Ziyech and David Neres, both on nine.

Heading the assists rankings is not the only thing that Kuwas leads the Eredivisie in. For players to have played at least 1000 minutes, nobody matches the 25-year-old’s 4.2 dribbles per 90 minutes. This comes as little surprise to anybody who has seen Heracles play this season; Kuwas is an extremely strong dribbler, and his default position is to begin very wide on the right. Plenty of wingers are successful at dribbling down the line while some prefer to cut inside and complete most of their dribbles there. Kuwas on the other hand is adept at both. Going to the by-line is just as simple as dribbling across the face of goal on the edge of the box for the Curaçao winger. This makes him a real threat.

His eleven assists have come against eleven different opponents, meanwhile without his creativity and contributions Heracles would find themselves a massive sixteen points worse off in the league. This would see them plummet from relative safety in 11th to rock-bottom in 18th position. To say that Brandley Kuwas’ influence is felt at Heracles would be a serious understatement.

Image result for brandley kuwas

To register eleven league assists by March is a mean feat but a closer look at Kuwas’ key pass statistics indicates perhaps why this is the case. For players to have played a minimum of 1000 minutes, only Hakim Ziyech – the crown prince of the Eredivisie assist – has a better number of key passes per 90 minutes than Kuwas this season.

Kuwas registers four key passes per 90, which equates to a key pass roughly every eight passes. This is a testament to his direct approach and playing style. Kuwas’ first instinct is to go forward and find forwards in a goalscoring position, and he seems to be getting better and better at it as the seasons go by.

In years gone by Kuwas has been in the news for the occasional long-range effort that has found the back of the net. He is still an audacious player with an eye for the spectacular, particularly from free-kicks, however he does appear to be more disciplined in terms of his decision-making. When in the past he may have elected to shoot from distance, this season Kuwas opts to find a teammate and it has paid dividends for both the player and the club. The sheer number of assists he has registered is no fluke; he often gets into dangerous positions and has subsequently reaped the rewards from better choices when shooting and passing.

The prospect of an Eredivisie departure is on the cards with his current contract expiring in June 2019, however prospective buyers must consider the fact that Kuwas – already 25 – may have reached his ceiling. Barring the 2-1 win over Ajax at the beginning of the season, Kuwas largely fails to impact games against the top opposition.

Since the start of the 2016-17 campaign, against the big three of Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV, Kuwas has registered two assists and one goal over the course of nine matches. During that time, Heracles have managed just the one win as well.

Nevertheless, Kuwas is an exciting player who is in excellent form. Capable of putting lesser teams to the sword on a consistent basis, he certainly continues to be an asset to Heracles Almelo. He most definitely is an Eredivisie player that an eye should be kept on in the near future.


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International break-ing my heart

Total Dutch Football columnist Jos Boesveld discusses why he misses the Eredivisie during the international break…

I really, really, really dislike the international break. There, I’ve said it. The football weekend was boring with no club football to watch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Although some great countries faced each other, it cannot match one single round in the Eredivisie.

In our own Dutch competition, there is something special about the matches. It doesn’t matter that clubs like FC Dordrecht or Willem II are small and don’t have players like Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi. When two teams meet in the Eredivisie, there’s always something going to happen.

Take the match Excelsior vs. Heracles Almelo for example. Two small clubs who only can hope and dream to stay another year in the top flight. Both teams know that they need to win these sort of matches, because against bigger clubs it’s nearly impossible to walk away with the three points. This guarantees an exciting match between two teams who give it their all.

It’s not Arsenal vs. Manchester City or Real Madrid vs. Atlético, but it’s pure football. The battle for possession, the fight for goals and sometimes the clumsiness that is bound to happen in the Eredivisie. Excelsior cannot counter like Real Madrid and Manchester City can easily buy the full line-up of Heracles about thirty times. It doesn’t matter, as long as the game in the Netherlands is just as unpredictable as the FIFA and their decisions about technology.

Anyone ever heard of Jeff Stans? If you’re not interested in the Dutch competition you’ll probably never heard of him. Five years ago still an amateur, but now he has played over eighty games in the Eredivisie, Jupiler League, KNVB Beker and Eredivisie play-offs. In the match Excelsior – Heracles Almelo the player from the homeside scored a more than brilliant goal, which would instantly become internet famous if it would happen in any match in the Premier League, Primera Divisíon or Bundesliga.

It happened in our own Eredivisie and I can only thank the players in this competition. They make my weekend awesome, unlike the national teams, playing friendly’s or even qualifications. So don’t give me a break. Not even an international one..


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