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Week 22 Eredivisie Report – Wednesday: Twente up to second, PSV win

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Philip Cocu can breathe a sigh of relief as PSV bounced back and grabbed three points tonight, only a few days after suffering an embarrassing 2-0 defeat to RKC Waalwijk. In the final game of the evening, Twente’s Dušan Tadić helped his team leapfrog Vitesse into second place in the league, as they defeated Heerenveen 2-0 to go just a point of leaders Ajax.

Wednesday 5th February 2014

SC CAMBUUR 1-2 PSV

PSV have had a tough start to the week, hammered by the press for Sunday’s loss and tonight did not start any better.

After just two minutes of play, Cambuur striker Elvis Manu, on-loan from Feyenoord, put his side in the lead. From a corner, the PSV failed to clear and Manu poked home, sending the 9,600 capacity into raptures.

PSV gained some motivation and searched for the equaliser, but as the last few games have shown, the young Eindhoven side looked unsure in front of goal and lacked to find that final ball to create any clear cut chances.

It was a set-piece that got Cocu’s men back in the game before half-time and it was a howler by Cambuur goalkeeper Leonard Nienhuis. As a Stijn Schaars free-kick was lofted in, Nienhuis came to claim the ball but completely missed as Jeffrey Bruma got in front of the goalie to the ball to head into the open goal.

Just after the hour mark, PSV grabbed the lead as Manu went from hero to villain. The striker in unfamiliar territory was dispossessed by Luciano Narsingh up the field and the winger floated a cross to the back post where Jürgen Locadia was waiting to flick past Nienhuis.

The Eindhoven side held on to win the game and afterwards, PSV managing director Marcel Brands stated that Rubin Kazan has a made a big money offer for Tim Matavz, we will find out over the next few days whether or not the Slovenian will sign for the Russian club. The fee is rumoured to be around €7m – an amount that PSV cannot refuse for a player that has been out of favour with Phillip Cocu.

TEAMS

CAMBUUR: Nienhuis, Van Boxel (Feldballe 82), Droste, Pereira, Leeuwin, El Makrini, Ritzmaier, Bakker, Manu, Lukoki (Schepers 68), Ogbeche (Hemmen 20).

SUBS NOT USED: Zeinstra, Van Brakel, Van Moorsel, Dijkstra.

GOALS: Manu 2.

BOOKINGS: Manu.

PSV: Zoet, Willems, Rekik, Bruma, Brenet, Schaars, Hiljemark, Park (Zanka Jørgensen 90), Depay, Locadia (Matavz 88), Narsingh (Hendrix 81).

SUBS NOT USED: Tyton, Maher, Bakkali, Arias.

GOALS: Bruma 38, Locadia 61.

BOOKINGS: Rekik.

NEC NIJMEGEN 1-1 NAC BREDA

NEC are now undefeated in five consecutive home games but failed to take all three points against NAC Breda, that would have taken the Nijmegen side out of the relegation places.

It was an even game but the away side drew first blood with Rydell Poepon pouncing on a Tobias Haitz mistake to give NAC the lead. The German defender, tried to take the ball out of his domain but got caught out by Jeffrey Sarpong and the ball fell to the powerful Poepon to blast a wonderful drive past Karl-Johan Johnsson.

The away fans did not celebrate for long, as five minutes later the score was tied. After NEC won a free-kick midway through the half, the ball was fired into the back post towards English striker Michael Higdon. Higdon rose and nodded the ball into the path of Rens van Eijden who fired home.

The home side gained some confidence from the goal and chances by Higdon and Jeffrey Leiwakabessy should have gave Anton Janssen’s men the lead but both could not get the efforts on target.

It was a nightmare game for Haitz who was later (77) dismissed by referee Ed Janssen for two bookable fouls.

TEAMS

NEC: Johnsson, Vermijl, Van Eijden, Haitz, Leiwakabessy, Štefánik (Nielsen 80), Foor, Rieks, Hemlein, Higdon (Castillion 73), Jantscher (Jahanbakhsh 63).

SUBS NOT USED: Smits, Gravenberch, Mulder, Diarra.

GOALS: Van Eijden 23.

BOOKINGS: Haitz, Leiwakabessy.

SENT OFF: Haitz.

NAC: Ten Rouwelaar, De Roover, Drost, Buijs, Van der Weg, Gilissen, Matic, Seuntjens (Suk 70), Hadouir (Verbeek 88), Poepon, Sarpong.

SUBS NOT USED: Babos, Tighadouini, Perica, Swerts, Bodor.

GOALS: Poepon 17.

BOOKINGS: Hadiour, Gilissen.

GO AHEAD EAGLES 2-2 RKC WAALWIJK

Xandro Schenk thought he had clinched all three points for Go Ahead tonight with a goal in the final minute, only for RKC’s Romeo Castelen to equalise a minute later to snatch a point.

After Prince-Desai Gouano fouled Joey Godee around 20 yards out, Jop van der Linden curled the resulting free-kick past Jan Šeda on 24 minutes to shoot the hosts in the lead.

RKC could not find an equaliser until the 64th minute after some great work down the left from Damiano Schet, the winger cut inside and fire the ball across goal but unfortunately for the hosts, Xandro Schenk stuck a book out to draw things up.

In the ninetieth minute, the action really started to heat up. From a Denis Turuc corner, RKC failed to clear as Šeda could not hold Bart Vriends header and the rebound fell to Xandro Schenk to get a goal at the right end.

As the home fans blew the roof of the stadium, RKC did not give up and from the kick-off they equalised. Jonas Ivens flicked on a long ball and Romeo Castelen held the ball up in the box, held off Schenk’s challenge and lashed a turning shot into the goal giving debtutant goalkeeper Stephan Andersen no chance of saving.

Go Ahead now sit in 13th with RKC a place below, both hovering over the relegation places, a draw was no good to either side.

TEAMS

GO AHEAD: Andersen, Schmidt, Vriends, Van der Linden, Schenk, Overgoor (Lambooij 82), Türüç, Falkenburg, Antonia (Azevedo 73), Kolder, Godee.

SUBS NOT USED: Ter Mate, Amevor, Rijsdijk, Haps, Kavak.

GOALS: Van den Linden 24, Schenk 90.

BOOKINGS: None.

RKC: Šeda, Lamey, Van Hoevelen (Ivens 69), Gouano, Amieux, Sno, Duits, Anderson, Castelen, Joachim, Schet (Beauguel 83).

SUBS NOT USED: Van Dijk, Jungschlager, Tavares, De Ridder, Apau.

GOALS: Schet 64, Castelen 90.

BOOKINGS: Duits.

HEERENVEEN 0-2 FC TWENTE

FC Twente jumped into second place tonight and did something no other team has done at the Abe Lenstra Stadion this season – stopped Heerenveen from scoring.

In a game that had expectations of many goals, it featured only two with a great defensive display from Michel Jansen’s side keeping Alfred Finnbogason out of the goals tonight.

It was a quiet uneventful first half with most efforts being kept outside of the post. Hakim Ziyech was his usual troublesome self for the Twente defenders but young goalkeeper Nick Marsman kept the goals from creeping in.

After the interval, neither team emerged with intent of attacking and both looked cautious of the others forwards. The first talking point came on 68 minutes when Twente’s Danish defender Andreas Bjelland grabbed Finnbogason on the shoulder to bring him down when he looked like he was through on goal. Referee Richard Liesveld did not deem as Bjelland being the last man since Rasmus Bengtsson was continuing just behind. Heerenveen head coach Marco van Basten was not happy with the decision and protested the case.

In the last twenty minutes, Serbian playmaker Dušan Tadić came alive. On 73 minutes, The Serb arrived in the box from the right-wing and skipped past one defender. Cutting inside he fired a shot at goal but the effort was deflected off Joey van den Berg, and the ricochet looped over Kristoffer Nordfledt arms and into the goal.

In the final moments, Heerenveen concede the second that confirmed Twente was leaving with maximum points. Tadić again involved, finding substitute striker, the 22-year-old Torgeir Børven, a winter signing from Vålerenga, to slide the ball home at the back post. This was the Norwegian’s first goal for the club in only two substitute appearances.

Twente have put real pressure on league leaders Ajax and look the main threat to stopping Frank de Boer clinching his fourth consecutive Eredivisie championship.

TEAMS

HEERENVEEN: Nordfeldt, Marzo (Sinkgraven 85), Otigba, Kum, Dijks (De Kamps 64), De Roon, Ziyech, Van den Berg, Basacikoglu, Finnbogason, Lurling (Van la Parra 68).

SUBS NOT USED: Vandenbussche, Slagveer, Warmolts, Van Aken.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: None.

TWENTE: Marsman, Rosales, Bengtsson, Bjelland, Koppers, Gutiérrez, Ebecilio, Eghan, Tadić, Castaignos, Promes.

SUBS NOT USED: Stevens, Schilder, Mokhtar, Djurdjevic, Martina, Tapia, Børven.

GOALS: Tadić 73, Børven 90.

BOOKINGS: Rosales, Bjelland, Castaignos.

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EREDIVISIE WEEK 22 PREVIEW & BETTING TIPS

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After nailing four out of nine games at the weekend, Will Burns is back with his picks for the midweek Eredivisie extravaganza (all nine games) and like all his tips, you will not see a ‘best bet’ under evens – good luck!

Tuesday 4th February

Roda-Feyenoord

RODA JC vs. FEYENOORD – 17:45

Roda’s last game at Parkstad Limburg Stadion was Jon Dahl Tomasson’s first win as head coach in a 1-0 win over Utrecht. After losing 3-1 at PEC Zwolle on Saturday, they face the tough test of Ronald Koeman’s Feyenoord tomorrow night.

Feyenoord featured in Friday night’s game which was a 1-1 draw against Vitesse that leaves the Koeman’s men seven points off league leaders Ajax. The title race is not out of reach yet and they will look to Italian striker Graziano Pelle to add to his tally of 16 in 19 games this campaign.

I can see Feyenoord being too strong for Roda and at 13/8 at Betfair for the Rotterdam side to be winning at half-time and full-time, it’s too big of a bet to miss.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Feyenoord HT/FT (13/8 – Betfair)

ADO-Heracles

ADO DEN HAAG vs. HERACLES – 18:45

Both sides experienced defeats over the weekend: Heracles at home to NAC Breda and ADO at Heerenveen, with a five points separating them in the league table.

I see this being a close game even though both sides will be itching to get back on track, I see this match finishing as a score draw. For the best bet, take a look at BetVictor’s at 13/5 for this one.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Draw (13/5 – BetVictor)

Vitesse-AZ

VITESSE vs. AZ ALKMAAR – 19:45

Tuesday’s main event will be second place Vitesse hosting sixth placed AZ Alkmaar. AZ have proved to be a bit of a jinx for the Arnhem side over the years, with Vitesse failing to find a win in the last eight meetings between the two sides.

Peter Bosz’s side will look to change all that this time round and place a bit of pressure on Ajax, currently two points clear them. A win would take Vitesse ahead of the Amsterdam side, with Ajax yet to play at home to Groningen on Thursday.

AZ will certainly not lay down for Vitesse and it will be a tough test for Bosz’s men. However, AZ has been a little inconsistent with two wins and three defeats from their last five matches played. Look for Vitesse to win this one and let’s take them to win by two clear goals to give us a bit of value.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Vitesse -1 (29/20 – SkyBet)

Wednesday 5th February

Cambuur-PSV

SC CAMBUUR vs. PSV – 17:45

After a shocking display at Waalwijk, a 2-0 defeat on Sunday, Philip Cocu needs to pick his side up for the trip to Cambuur on Wednesday evening. With only one win on the road in the last nine games, Cocu has a tough job.

Cambuur on the other hand put in a good showing away to Twente earlier on Sunday, despite running out on the wrong side of a 3-1 scoreline.

PSV are struggling to score goals and as we won on ‘Under 2.5 Goals’ in the RKC game on Sunday, let’s go for it again at 11/10 at Sky Bet. There has been under 2.5 goals in the last four games involving PSV so let’s see if that run will continue.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Under 2.5 Goals (11/10 – SkyBet)

GAE-RKC

GO AHEAD EAGLES vs. RKC WAALWIJK – 18:45

The impressive Evander Sno hit both goals in RKC’s win over PSV on Sunday and the Waalwijk side will look to build on that victory away to Go Ahead Eagles on Wednesday evening. However, Erwin Koeman’s side has a horrible away record with only two wins in the last 21 trips.

Go Ahead on the other hand has faired well at home this season with only two defeats in ten, and those losses were against the current top two, Vitesse and Ajax. A win for RKC is not unthinkable but I cannot see it happening.

Although the draw on the other hand could, with six draws for the Eagles and seven for RKC already this season I can see them adding to this tally on Wednesday.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Draw (13/5 – Betfred, SkyBet and Bet365)

NEC-NAC

NEC NIJMEGEN vs. NAC BREDA – 18:45

It is a close league this season with just five points splitting NEC (17th) and NAC (10th). NEC have a great home record this campaign with only losing two out of nine games (to Vitesse and Ajax) since the sacking of Alex Pastoor in September.

In an interesting stat, NEC Nijmegen have not beaten NAC in the last seven meetings between the sides in all competitions so going with the stats, I feel the best bet is a draw.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Draw (11/4 – WilliamHill)

Heerenveen-Twente

HEERENVEEN vs. FC TWENTE – 19:45

FC Twente are in tremendous form and have only experienced a defeat twice in the Eredivisie this season, both away games to ADO Den Haag and Vitesse.

Heerenveen striker Alfred Finnbogason is also in tremendous form notching an amazing 20 goals in 18 games, which persuade Fulham to offer €10m on transfer deadline day.

With the Icelandic international notching left, right and centre I am unsure that Twente can defeat Heerenveen, but what I can predict is goals!

BURNS’ BEST BET: Over 3.5 Goals (13/5 – BetVictor)

Thursday 6th February

Utrecht-PEC

FC UTRECHT vs. PEC ZWOLLE – 17:45

Thursday sees PEC Zwolle travel to a struggling FC Utrecht full of confidence after Sunday’s 3-1 over Roda. While Jan Wouters’s Utrecht halted a run of four successive league defeats with a hard-fought point at home to Ajax, but they still remain five games without a win.

Zwolle look to clinch their third consecutive victory on Thursday but with the tricky Ryan Thomas providing balls for Guyon Fernandez and Mustafa Saymak, I think they could do it this Thursday at the Stadion Galgenwaard.

BURNS’ BEST BET: PEC Zwolle to win (19/10 – Unibet)

Ajax-Groningen

AJAX vs. FC GRONINGEN – 19:45

The final game of the Week 22 fixtures sees league leaders Ajax take on the underperforming FC Groningen.

The defending champions have won nine of their last eleven games and kept six clean sheets in their last seven at the Amsterdam ArenA. Do not look past an Ajax win if you are placing an accumulator this week, as I cannot see any other result coming close in this one.

Groningen lost away to AZ by two goals to nil on Saturday and I can see Ajax going one better winning the match 3-0. So let’s end the week with a huge 7/1 tip and good luck!

BURNS’ BEST BET: Ajax to win 3-0 (7/1 – Bet365)

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Week 21 Eredivisie Report – AZ, Zwolle, NAC, Heerenveen all victorious

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SATURDAY 1ST FEBRUARY 2014

HEERENVEEN 3-0 ADO DEN HAAG

After head coach Marco van Basten announced this past week that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season, Heerenveen stepped up to the plate and delivered three season half goals to defeat ADO.

Heerenveen’s latest signing, Anthony Lurling, who will be 37 in April, replaced Luciano Slagveer in the side but he failed to inspire this new side in the first half which was lacklustre, due to the attacking performances from both teams. Both midfields constantly failed to link up with their forwards and give the ball away to each other, and were restricted to long-range efforts which never bothered either goalkeeper. The score at half-time was goal-less.

The hosts pressed after the break and took the lead in controversial fashion that referee Ed Janssen under huge protests from the ADO players. Hakim Ziyech whipped in a free-kick from the right-wing which sailed into the arms of ADO goalkeeper Gino Coutinho low on the ground. Tom Beugelsdijk was marking Kenny Otigba who was heading towards the ball and both players momentum sent Otigba into the ball to knock it home. Coutinho did have two hands on the ball but the goal was given.

The advantage was doubled ten minutes later, when a spot-kick was awarded when Bilal Basacikoglu was weakly pushed over by Aaron Meijers. This gave Alfred Finnbogason the opportunity to score his 20th goal in just 18 games, which he duly took, coolly chipping the ball down the middle of the goal.

ADO applied pressure to try and get back into the game but the points were cemented deep into stoppage time. Heerenveen absorbed the attacks and sent Rajiv van la Parra on the counter attack to make it three.

TEAMS

HEERENVEEN: Nordfeldt, Van Anholt, Kum, Otigba, Dijks, De Roon, Van den Berg, Ziyech (Sinkgraven 91), Lurling (Van la Parra 83), Finnbogason, Basacikoglu.

SUBS NOT USED: Vandenbussche, Marzo, De Kamps, Slagveer, Zomer.

GOALS: Otigba 58, Finnbogason 68P, Van La Parra 90+2.

BOOKINGS: Van Anholt, Otigba.

ADO DEN HAAG: Coutinho, Malone, Zuiverloon, Beugelsdijk, Meijers, Bakker (Kramer 63), Holla, Van Haaren, Alberg, Van Duinen, Schet.

SUBS NOT USED: Zwinkels, Wormgoor, Gouriye, Kanon, Merencia, Cabral.

GOALS: None

BOOKINGS: Van Haaren, Schet.

PEC ZWOLLE 3-1 RODA JC

Jon Dahl Tomasson suffered his first league defeat as Roda manager as they fell to an improving PEC Zwolle side in a quiet an even game.

The away side failed to keep possession early on and in the 19th minute, New Zealand international Ryan Thomas gave Zwolle the lead. After Roda were unable to clear a corner, the ball fell to Thomas who slid home from close range.

As the first-half petered out and it looked like Thomas had scored the only goal of the game until after the half-time break. Tomasson’s side pressed for an equaliser and found the goal just after the hour mark after some great play from man-of-the-moment Guus Hupperts. Hupperts weaved his way past defenders into the box and found Mitchell Donald at the back post to tap into an empty net.

Roda looked more likely to grab a second but against the run of play, Zwolle were awarded a penalty on 77 minutes, after Thomas was adjudged to be bundled over by Bart Biemans by referee Bjorn Kuipers. It was a poor decision from the ref as video replays showed that Thomas had gone down easy from a shoulder nudge. Guyon Fernandez converted the spot-kick sending Filip Kurto in the opposite direction.

The points were cemented two minutes into stoppage time when substitute Fred Benson fired home Zwolle’s third. After Kurto had stopped Mateusz Klich and Thanasis Karagounis’s close range effort, Benson finished to send the home side home happy.

TEAMS

ZWOLLE: Boer, Van Hintum, Broerse, Van der Werff (Lachman 47 (Gravenbeek 68)), Mokotjo, Van Polen, Karagounis, Klich, Saymak (Benson 74), Thomas, Fernandez.

SUBS NOT USED: Begios, Nijland, Drost, Mahmudov.

GOALS: Thomas 19, Fernandez 77P, Benson 90.

BOOKINGS: Klich.

RODA: Kurto, Monteyne (Ramos 89), Van Peppen, Biemans, Luijckx, Paulissen (Hocher 82), Donald, Kali, Sutchin, Hupperts, Shkurti (Pluim 65).

SUBS NOT USED: Prus, Bonevacia, Wijnen, Jacobs.

GOALS: Donald 62.

BOOKINGS: Paulissen, Biemans.

HERACLES 1-2 NAC BREDA

NAC Breda defeated Heracles by two goals to one to leapfrog them into the top ten and win their first game in three matches.

Breda had goalkeeper Jelle ten Rouwelaar to thank in the opening half-hour after the hosts began the better of the two sides.  However, at the other end Remko Pasveer gifted NAC the lead in the 38th minute with Jordy Buijs getting his third goal of the season. The Heracles ‘keeper failed to catch a corner and Buijs prodded home the opening goal.

Jan de Jonge’s men pressed for an equaliser but watched his side concede another just after the hour mark. Mats Seuntkens turned Jason Davidson on the right-wing and whipped in a pin-perfect cross to Rydell Popeon in the middle of the area to head past Pasveer.

Ten minutes later, Heracles did get a goal back through top scorer Bryan Linssen. Simon Cziommer surged into the right area of the box and looped a ball towards goal where Linssen rose above everyone to make it 2-1.

Linssen nearly got his eighth goal of the campaign to equalise near the end of the game, but Rouwelaar again, kept his team in it to fire his team into the top ten.

TEAMS

HERACLES: Pasveer, Veldmate, Davidson, Te Wierik, Schenkeveld, Rienstra, Bel Hassani (Bruns 80), Cziommer, Linssen, Rosheuvel (Tannane 64), Uth (Powel 67).

SUBS NOT USED: Telgenkamp, Amoah, Van Dijk, Belterman.

GOALS: Linssen 71.

BOOKINGS: Cziommer, Veldmate.

NAC: Ten Rouwelaar, Van der Weg, Buijs, Drost, De Roover, Matic (Suk 78), Gilissen, Hadouir (Verbeek 84), Seuntjens, Sarpong (Tighadouini 90), Poepen.

SUBS NOT USED: Babos, Perica, Swerts, Bodor.

GOALS: Buijs 38, Poepon 61.

BOOKINGS: Van der Weg, Hadouir.

AZ ALKMAAR 2-0 FC GRONINGEN

Two first-half Nemanja Gudelj goals gave AZ a great 2-0 win over FC Groningen.

It was a great start for Dick Advocaat’s men as Gudelj opened the scoring in just the third minute of play. From a Celso Ortiz free-kick, the ball fell kindly in the area for the Serbian midfielder to strike off Groningen defender Eric Botteghin and past Marco Bizot in the visitors’ goal.

AZ smelt blood and attacked Groningen relentlessly until the Serbian made it two in the 17th minute, and it was a great volleyed effort. After Steven Berghuis curled a low ball into the box, Gudelj acrobatically hit a right foot smash past Bizot.

Groningen improved after the internval but were unable to breach the AZ defence, and now the Alkmaar side has won two of its last three Eredivisie matches to climb to sixth place with 30 points, moving the club two points clear of their opponents today.

TEAMS

AZ: Esteban, Wuytens, Gouweleeuw, Viergever, Reijnen, Gudelj, Elm, Berghuis (Gudmundsson 77), Ortiz, Johannsson, Beerens.

SUBS NOT USED: De Winter, Johansson, Gorter, Henriksen, Lewis, Avdic.

GOALS: Gudelj 3, 17.

BOOKINGS: None.

GRONINGEN: Bizot, Magnasco (Nieff 47), Wijnaldum, Kappelhof, Hiarlej (Zeefuik 76), Botteghin, Kieftenbeld, De Leeuw, Chery, Adorjan (Burnet 47), Kostic.

SUBS NOT USED: Van der Lei, Kirm, Lindgren, Zivkovic.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: None.

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EREDIVISIE WEEK 21 PREVIEW – Saturday

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After a great 3/1 win with the Feyenoord-Vitesse draw prediction, Will Burns is back with his picks for Saturday and like all his tips, you will not see a ‘best bet’ under evens – good luck!

Saturday 1st February

Heerenveen-ADO

HEERENVEEN vs. ADO DEN HAAG – 17:45

ADO head to Heerenveen full of confidence after their win over Feyenoord, while Marco van Basten’s men may be feeling a tad down after the head coach stated this week he will be not sticking around next season.

Under Van Basten, Heerenveen have never defeated ADO Den Haag and I’m predicting that the wait for the win will continue. I would except goals in this, especially with the fact that Heerenveen have conceded at least two goals in eight out of ten games, but also scored at least two goals in nine out of the last ten games.

If you’re feeling lucky opt for a 2-2 draw but I feel the best bet would be to stick with a draw at 18/5 at Unibet.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Draw (18/5 – Unibet)

PECZwolle-Roda

PEC ZWOLLE vs. RODA JC – 18:45

Jon Dahl Tomasson’s Roda coming off a great 1-0 win last week against a struggling FC Utrecht side, head to Zwolle to face Ron Jans’ men who have failed to win in their last five games at the IJsseldelta Stadion.

Jans had to wait ten games to find an Eredivisie win which was the 2-1 away in Breda last round. Zwolle will be glad to ditch that stat and look to build their current ninth place into a run for European football qualification.

Tomasson has an in-form Guus Hupperts at his disposal and look for the young winger to try and get himself on the scoresheet again, he has scored four in the last six games from the right-wing. The best bet for me in this one is Under 2.5 Goals as I cannot see either team going for broke in this one.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Under 2.5 Goals (13/10 – BetVictor)

Heracles-NAC

HERACLES vs. NAC BREDA – 18:45

Breda heads to Almelo after a great performance last weekend in a tight 2-1 defeat hosting Zwolle, while Heracles, undefeated in their last three games at home, defeated RKC 2-1 at Polman Stadion.

This game will provide goals and Bryan Linssen of Heracles is the man to watch. NAC Breda have conceded at least three goals in their last six away matches in Eredivisie. On this basis, the best bet seems to be a huge 17/10 at PaddyPower if you bet Heracles to be winning at half-time and full-time.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Heracles HT/FT (17/10 – PaddyPower)

AZ-Groningen

AZ ALKMAAR vs. FC GRONINGEN – 19:45

FC Groningen’s game last week was postponed due to a frozen pitch as AZ’s miserable form continued losing in a 1-0 defeat at PSV. AZ Alkmaar have now lost five of their last six matches in the league.

Just one point splits these teams in the league and Groningen have only one win away from home in the last nine matches. I’m settling for a tied game at full-time on this one.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Draw (14/5 – Betfair)

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Heerenveen sign Lurling

Team-Heerenveen

Ten years after leaving for Feyenoord, 36-year-old Anthony Lurling has returned to Heerenveen on a deal until the end of the season.

36-year-old Anthony Lurling is not ready yet

Lurling has already stated that even at the age of 36, he wants to impress and win a longer contract at the Friesland club.

The striker, who will be 37 in April, arrives from NAC Breda where he has spent the last seven seasons, making 190 appearances scoring 33 goals.

Lurling had plenty of offers but chose Heerenveen out of them all: “When I was allowed to leave Köln eight years ago, the telephone hardly rang. Now I’m 36 and when NAC said I was allowed to leave, the phone has been ringing off the hook with Eredivisie and Eerste Divisie teams interested and also Belgian clubs.”.

Heerenveen’s director of football, Hans Vonk is delighted with the Lurling capture and looks to him nurture the young talent at the club: “Anthony is an experienced player who can play in many positions. We have a talented, but young team that could really do with the support of an experienced player like Anthony. Also, with Anthony knowing the club, this is a huge advantage which will make the transition that much easier.”

The move from NAC was arranged, after this past week, Lurling clashed with Breda manager Nebojša Gudelj after the coach has failed to select the player since the 1-0 win over Cambuur on December 21st 2013.

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Week 20 Eredivisie Report – Feyenoord fall, PSV defeat AZ

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SATURDAY 25TH JANUARY 2014

A few shocks in Saturday’s Eredivisie games with title challengers Feyenoord losing points and relegation battlers ADO and Roda gaining them.

ADO-Feyenoord

ADO DEN HAAG 3-2 FEYENOORD

Maurice Steijn walked out of the Kyocera Stadion on Saturday a happier man as he saw his ADO Den Haag side defeat title-chasing Feyenoord, to lift his men off the bottom of the league table.

It was Ronald Koeman’s men that were more dangerous early in the match but failed to score during their domination. The closest they came was a great chance for the lively Jean-Paul Boëtius after 16 minutes. A long ball came out of midfield from John Goossens landed at the feet of Boëtius, but unfortunately for the young winger, Tom Beugelsdijk placed Boëtius under sufficient pressure that the Feyenoord man smashed his shot into the side netting. The 19-year-old had a further chance ten minutes later but shot straight at goalkeeper Gino Coutinho.

As the half went on, ADO started to get into the game more and went a goal ahead on 36 minutes. Aaron Meijers was bundled over by Bruno Martins Indi on the right-wing and from that free-kick, Danny Holla crossed for Mike van Duinen who won a corner. Holla whipped in the corner that met a Tom Beugelsdijk header that sailed past Erwin Mulder in goal, the big defender was being poorly marked by Lex Immers.

The goal took the confidence out of Feyenoord and in first half stoppage time they found themselves another goal down. Surging down the right was ADO full-back Dion Malone, he planted in a dangerous whipping cross and Danny Bakker got in front of the visitors defence to place home a glancing header.

Koeman’s team-talk fired up Feyenoord and they pressed from the restart. It was not until the 68th minute before they a goal back. From a Goossens corner, striker Graziano Pellè (reasonably quiet until now), held the ball up to play into Jordy Clasie’s path on the edge of the area. The tenacious midfielder lashed a ball home to fire up the away crowd.

The tails were up for Feyenoord and ADO were against the ropes trying to protect their lead, but to no avail as the game was tied six minutes later. Meijers turned the ball over to Clasie on the edge of the box and the ball fell to Immers to the right of the area. Immers played in a low cross towards Graziano Pellè and the Italian does not miss from five yards out and it was 2-2.

From the restart, ADO began to play the ball and three minutes later they took the lead again, and won the game with the best piece of movement all match. Holla again involved crossing into the feet of Roland Alberg on the edge of the box, and with beautiful link-up play, Alberg played an excellent one-two with Van Duinen to finish elegantly.

A bitter blow for Koeman and his side’s title chances but a vital three points for the hosts today in their relegation fight.

TEAMS

ADO: Coutinho, Malone, Beugelsdijk, Zuiverloon, Holla, Meijers, Bakker (Kanon 87), Van Haaren, Alberg, Schet (Merencia 90), Van Duinen.

SUBS NOT USED: Zwinkels, Wormgoor, Gouriye, Buwalda, Cabral.

GOALS: Beugelsdijk 36, Bakker 45, Alberg 77

BOOKINGS: Alberg, Schet

FEYENOORD: Mulder, Janmaat, De Vrij, Mathijsen (Nelom 55), Martins Indi, Clasie, Immers, Goossens, Boëtius (Te Vrede 83), Pellè, Schaken (Armenteros 46).

SUBS NOT USED: Lamprou, Verhoek, Bakkal, Van Beek.

BOOKINGS: None

NAC-PECZwolle

NAC BREDA 1-2 PEC ZWOLLE

As the rain lashed down in Breda, Ron Jans celebrated extended his contract for another year leading his side to a great 2-1 win away to NAC Breda.

It was a game of few chances but Zwolle went behind on 20 minutes with an excellent finish from NAC’s Joey Suk. Danny Verbeek crossed from a free-kick on the left and after an aerial scramble to the ball right for the striker to acrobatically volley home.

Zwolle fought to get back into it and should have been level through Guyon Fernandez on 37 minutes. Great link-up play Kamohelo Mokotjo and Ryan Thomas played Fernandez in the area, the striker did well to turn his defender and a shot away but unfortunately dragged the effort just wide of Jelle ten Rouwelaar’s goal.

It took a penalty just after the restart to get the visitors level with Guyon Fernandez converting after Anouar Hadouir fouled Mokotjo in the box.

Zwolle stole the game in controversial fashion on 75 minutes. It was a tremendous goal by Mustafa Saymak who hit the ball from 35 yards out that gave Ten Rouwelaar no chance, but the goal should not have stood.  Video replays after the game proved that seconds earlier, substitute Thanasis Karagounis had took the ball out of play on the right wing but the assistant referee missed the call.

TEAMS

NAC: Ten Rouwelaar, De Roover, H. Drost, Buijs, Van der Weg, Gilessen (Hooi 81), Suk, Hadouir (Tighadouini 74), Sarpong, Poepon, Verbeek (Perica 67).

SUBS NOT USED: Babos, Kwakman, Swerts, Bodor.

GOALS: Suk 20.

BOOKINGS: None.

ZWOLLE: Boer, Van der Werff, Broerse, Van Hintum, Van Polen, Mokotjo, Klich, J. Drost (Karagounis 45), Fernandez, Thomas (Mahmudov 65), Saymak (Gravenbeek 89).

SUBS NOT USED: Begois, Benson, Hiwat, Labylle.

GOALS: Fernandez 50, Saymak 75.

BOOKINGS: Klich 83.

Roda-Utrecht

RODA JC 1-0 FC UTRECHT

Jon Dahl Tomasson clinched his first win as Roda manager on Saturday evening sending Jan Wouters’ Utrecht to a fourth consecutive league defeat.

ANP

Wouters should have seen his side take the lead on 12 minutes, but Tommy Oar failed to guide Yassin Ayoub’s great through ball on target.

Tomasson has to re-jig his side after a mid-week defeat in the KNVB Beker to AZ Alkmaar. In that game, Hungarian striker Krisztián Németh was stupidly sent-off after charging into a referee, which has gained him a five-match suspension. In his place in this game was Vasil Shkurti, a 21-year-old Albanian striker only appearing in his second game for the club. However, it was the Albanian that nearly grabbed Roda the lead on 23 minutes, but Utrecht ‘keeper Robbin Ruiter was on his usual top form protecting the goal.

Just after the half-hour mark, Roda scored the only goal of the game. The man in-form for the Kerkrade side is Guus Hupperts, and he showed his worth again to Tomasson in this game. After Mitchell Donald robbed Kai Heerings of the ball and played in Shkurti, the Albanian flick the ball onto the on-rushing Hupperts at the right of the box and the winger slammed the ball home past Ruiter.

Utrecht barely bothered opposition goalkeeper Filip Kurto and Wouters will need to spark in his side and quick before they are dragged into the relegation battle.

TEAMS

RODA: Kurto, Dijkhuizen (Monteyne 39), Biemans, Van Peppen, Sutchin, Donald, Luijckx, Kali, Paulissen (Hocher 81), Shkurti (Pluim 68), Hupperts.

SUBS NOT USED: Prus, Ramos, Bonevacia, Jacobs.

GOALS: Hupperts 23.

BOOKINGS: None.

UTRECHT: Ruiter, Markiet, Derijck, Heerings, Van der Gun, Sarota, Diermers (Agudelo 59), Toornstra, Ayoub, De Ridder, Oar.

SUBS NOT USED: Verhoeven, Martensson, Bjelica, Klaiber, Van Velzen, Badjeck.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: Heerings.

PSV-AZ

PSV 1-0 AZ ALKMAAR

After a great showing at the Amsterdam Arena in their close 1-0 defeat against rivals Ajax last Sunday, PSV returned to winning ways with a great win over AZ Alkmaar in Saturday’s evening game with the same scoreline.

20140125 - Jetro Willems - PSV

Phillip Cocu saw his team explode out of the blocks and were 1-0 up after just three minutes. The relentless PSV attack bombarded the AZ goal with shot after shot with pinball like effect. Eventually after Santiago Arias, Ji-Sung Park and Memphis Depay saw shots blocked, the ball fell to left-back Jetro Willems at the edge of the area, and his tame long range effort crept past Esteban to put the hosts ahead.

Cocu can thank his goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet for the three points as the 22-year-old pulled off save after save for his side.  His most vital, was his first on 12 minutes. From a corner, Jan Wuytens emerged at the near post and back-heeled flicked the ball towards the goal and once the ball had ricocheted off the post, Zoet bravely palmed the attempt away out of the AZ preying attackers.

PSV had their chances to further the lead and win the game comfortably. With 18 minutes gone, Adam Maher latched onto a long ball from Willems and volleyed towards goal but the attempt raised to high to bother Esteban in goal. Also, on the half-hour mark, Stijn Schaars spotted Arias sprinting down the right-wing and when the young Colombian found himself one-on-one with the Costa Rican goalkeeper, he smashed his effort into the side netting.

AZ pressed after the break and Zoet’s gloves were kept warm, denying them time and time again.  Most notably, Johann Berg Gudmundsson combining well with Aron Johansson but both were unable to find the leveller.

PSV held on and grabbed a vital three points in their chase for a Europa League place in the top four. Dick Advocaat will be disappointed with his return to the Phillips Stadion but look forward to next week’s game hosting Groningen to get back on track.

TEAMS

PSV: Zoet, Arias, Willems (Hendrix 67), Rekik, Bruma, Schaars (Hiljemark 79), Park, Maher, Depay, Locadia, Ruiz (Narsingh 90).

SUBS NOT USED: Tyton, Zanka, Bakkali, Brenet.

GOALS: Willems 3.

BOOKINGS: Depay, Willems.

AZ: Esteban, Wuytens, Gouweleeuw, Viergever, Reijnen, Elm, Gudmundsson (Lewis 73), Gudelj, Ortiz (Henriksen 80), Beerens, A. Johansson.

SUBS NOT USED: De Winter, M. Johansson, Gorter, Haps, Avdic.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: Wuytens, Reijnen, Gudelj, A. Johansson.

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EREDIVISIE WEEK 20 PREVIEW – Friday & Saturday

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Week 20 of the Eredivisie is upon us and can Ajax and Vitesse maintain their good form and stay at the top of the pile or can Feyenoord catch up on Saturday and place a bit of pressure on them? Will Burns is here with this predictions and like all his tips, you will not see a ‘best bet’ under evens – good luck!

Friday 24th January

Heracles-RKC

HERACLES vs. RKC WAALWIJK– 19:00

Currently undefeated in their last six Eredivisie games, RKC Waalwijk are surprising a lot of pundits in the Netherlands but on Friday night they face the tough challenge of Heracles.

With Romeo Castelen missing with a knee injury for RKC, it only get tougher. Heracles will want to bounce back from last week’s 3-1 defeat away to Twente, and will look to star player Bryan Linssen to get on the scoresheet.

The hosts will have Jeroen Veldmate serving a suspension for this game, after last Friday’s red card, but the central defensive pairing of Bart Schenkeveld and Ben Rienstra will cover in his absence.

Look for RKC to keep their undefeated run going by notching another point as I see this game being a draw, and with BetVictor offering 29/10, it’s a bet too good to miss especially when Heracles have just won one of their last six games at the Polman Stadion.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Draw (29/10 – BetVictor)

Saturday 25th January

ADO-Feyenoord

ADO DEN HAAG vs. FEYENOORD – 17:45

A huge 5-2 win away to Utrecht last Sunday meant Feyenoord have now won five out of the last five Eredivisie games, but sadly for the Rotterdam side, they were knocked out of the KNVB Beker on Wednesday in a tough 3-1 defeat away to Ajax.

ADO will be the fresher side with no midweek game this week but due to far superiority in Ronald Koeman’s camp, I cannot see Feyenoord not coming out the victors. At 4/7 (BetVictor) Graziano Pelle and co. might be worth adding to your accumulator but it is certainly not our best bet.

Like last week I fancy Feyenoord to win both half-time and full-time in this one and we stick with BetVictor again at 11/8. For the record, Koeman’s men have now won this bet in the last four Eredivisie matches.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Feyenoord HT/FT (11/8 – BetVictor)

NAC-PECZwolle

NAC BREDA vs. PEC ZWOLLE – 18:45

PEC Zwolle will be oozing with confidence after their trimpuant 5-1 win over Topklasse outfit JVC Cuijk in midweek to fire themselves into the semi-finals of the KNVB Beker.

No disrespect to JVC, but Zwolle will face a much stronger side in NAC Breda on Saturday evening. A side that is undefeated at home in the last six games, with five wins (AZ Alkmaar, Heracles, Go Ahead Eagles, PSV and Cambuur) and one draw (Groningen).

Breda have no real injury problems but Zwolle still are without strong powerful defender Darryl Lachman due to hamstring problem. Zwolle are on a four game losing streak in league games, but I can see the hunger to end that unwanted streak ending on Saturday. I can see this one ending as a draw and ending one streak for Zwolle, and continuing another for NAC.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Draw (13/5 – Bet365)

Roda-Utrecht

RODA JC vs. FC UTRECHT – 18:45

Both teams will be hurting after being knocked out of the Dutch cup in midweek, Roda at home to AZ (2-0) and Utrecht away to NEC (1-0).

Jon Dahl Tomasson still searches for his first win and he will be without main striker Krisztián Németh, after the Hungarian’s stupid red card on Tuesday night, as he serves his first of a five match suspension.

Both sides are in dire need of a win and I can see goals a plenty going in here. Utrecht started well last weekend against Feyenoord but ended up conceding five losing 5-2. Jan Wouters will be looking to capitalise on Roda’s poor form of losing their four Eredivisie games at the Parkstad Limburg Stadion. Roda have not won a game in eight league matches and you have to go back to late October when they defeated PSV for the last time they clinched all three points on offer.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Utrecht to win (29/10 – BetVictor)

PSV-AZ

PSV vs. AZ ALKMAAR – 19:45

Saturday night’s main event pits PSV vs. AZ in a repeat of the KNVB Beker final last May. Of course, the star of the show that day was Adam Maher, who has since swapped clubs.

On reflection, even before last week’s defeat to bitter rivals Ajax, PSV’s season is already over with only qualification to the Europa League to play for.  AZ can still hope to retain their Dutch cup after Tuesday’s 2-0 victory at Roda, and in the league they currently sit in 7th, a place and one point above Saturday’s opponents.

PSV were unlucky to not get at least a point at the Amsterdam Arena on Sunday, and the addition of Bryan Ruiz looks like he could inject life into the PSV attack, linking up well with Memphis Depay and Jürgen Locadia.

Look for PSV to be successful here as Phillip Cocu’s men have only lost once in their last 11 Eredivisie games (a 6-2 defeat against high-flying Vitesse). However, for my ‘best bet’ I pick Fulham’s on-loan winger Bryan Ruiz to score anytime, which you can pick up for 7/5 at Bet365.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Bryan Ruiz to score anytime (7/5 – Bet365)

Click here for a preview of Sunday’s games.

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Week 19 Eredivisie Report – Ajax & Vitesse stay top

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The Eredivisie season resumed this weekend after the winter break and Ajax and Vitesse began their new year with wins to keep them atop of the pile in the Dutch top flight.

Ajax - PSV

The final game of the weekend was the world famous De Klassieker but in all fairness it was a bit of a letdown. Ajax ran out winners against PSV keeping Frank de Boer’s side on top of the division on goal difference. The visitors dominated the opening half, with Ajax on the back foot with left winger Memphis Depay shining the brightest, giving the Ajax defence a torrid time. The young Depay nearly gave Phillip Cocu’s men the lead on 26 minutes with a cute touch that crept just wide after Adam Maher had whipped in the ball.

Two minutes earlier, Jürgen Locadia should have given the Eindhoven side the advantage. Locadia arrive into box on the right, and the on-loan Bryan Ruiz placed him in with a lovely deft chip, but the striker sent his shot inches wide.

With Ajax being forced into their own half for the majority of the first 45 minutes, they relied heavily on the counter attack. After the interval, the hosts came out fighting and on 64 minutes they took the lead and it was an excellent goal. A long ball out of defence from Niclas Moisander found Lasse Schöne on the right-wing Schöne, with fantastic technique hit a first time volleyed cross into the box, where Kolbeinn Sigthórsson nodded past Jeroen Zoet for 1-0.

The goal de-motivated the young PSV side and Ajax pressed for a second, but despite efforts from Davy Klaassen and Viktor Fischer they failed to add to their score. PSV’s title challenge is dust and dusted, if it was not already, as Ajax sit joint top with Vitesse, who defeated PEC Zwolle 2-1 on Saturday evening.

It was an eventful first half with Vitesse a goal ahead after in the third minute. Ghanaian on-loan star Christian Atsu twisted and turned through the Zwolle defence, before sliding the ball home past the helpless Diederik Boer. The visitors were not in the lead for long as Guyon Fernandez notched his fifth goal of the season on ten minutes. Then three minutes later, Vitesse winger Renato Ibarra was tripped in the area, but Lucas Piazón could not place the penalty past Boer. Another Chelsea loanee sealed the win for Vitesse in injury time, with Patrick van Aanholt striding up the field from the left wing to fire home.

On Friday, FC Twente defeated local rivals Heracles by three goals to one in the Derby of the East. Quincy Promes continued his great form firing Twente in the lead halfway through the first half and Luc Castaignos doubled the advantage before the hour mark. The visitors were down to ten-men when defender Jeroen Veldmate was shown the red card but Mark Uth gave Heracles some hope when he scored on 76 minutes with a tremendous solo effort. The points were clinched with minutes to go when Luka Đorđević was brought down by Thomas Bruns and Dušan Tadić converted the spot kick.

Twente are up to 37 points with Feyenoord a point behind them in fourth. Ronald Koeman’s men showed they are still challenging for the championship thumping FC Utrecht 5-2 at the Stadion Galgenwaard on Sunday afternoon. Five goals were shared in a crazy first half and it was the hosts that took the lead when Jens Toornstra capitalised on Jordy Clasie’s mistake on 12 minutes. Feyenoord equalised four minutes later when Ruben Schaken turned in Tonny Vilhena’s shot. The best goal of the game gave the visitors the lead when Italian hitman Graziano Pellè delivered a back-heeled flick to Schaken’s cross from the right. Utrecht levelled the game up when Toornstra notched again on 22 minutes, but Feyenoord went into the break with the goal advantage with a Stefan de Vrij header. Schaken got his second on 72 minutes with Vilhena scoring the fifth with a minute to go.

Heerenveen stay in fifth place despite being held to 2-2 draw on Saturday evening with Roda JC, now managed by Jon Dahl Tomasson. Tomasson will be happy with the away point, especially when he would have feared the worst when Hakim Ziyech put Heerenveen ahead on 12 minutes. The teams went into half-time level, as Guus Hupperts’ cross was fired home by Hungarian striker Krisztián Németh. Alfred Finnbogason notched his 18th of the season after Kees Luijckx blocked the Icelandic striker in the area and Finnbogason stepped up to convert for 2-1. However, Roda did not give up and Hupperts scored the equalising goal with a great show of speed and finishing. The 21-year-old overpowered Christian Kum down the right-wing and hit a wonderful outside of the boot finish from an acute angle to score. Tomasson will look to Hupperts in the coming months to help in the relegation fight.

FC Groningen were unlucky to be held by RKC Waalwijk to a 1-1 draw on Saturday evening, with Michael de Leeuw giving Groningen the lead on the half-hour mark. However, the visitors were reduced to ten-men when debutant Hans Hateboer was shown red for a foul RKC’s Remy Amieux. RKC snatched the draw with an 89-minute Evander Sno penalty after Maikel Kieftenbeld was adjudged to have handled in the penalty area.

Also on Saturday, AZ Alkmaar defeated NAC Breda 3-0. Steven Berghuis scored a brace along with Aron Johansson goal to help AZ climb to seventh place on 27 points.

ADO Den Haag now prop up the league in 18th after suffering a 3-1 defeat away to NEC Nijmegen. Kevin Conboy hit two alongside a Marnick Vermijl effort while a Danny Holla penalty replied for Den Haag. The win meant that NEC leapfrogged ADO into 17th.

Finally, in a battle of the promoted side, SC Cambuur turned over Go Ahead Eagles by two goals to nil, with Marcel Ritzmaier scoring the best goal of the weekend. In the 18th minute, the midfielder, on-loan from PSV hit a spectacular effort from 30 yards out straight past Eloy Room in the Eagles’ goal. Martijn Barto added a second to see Cambuur rise up to 14th while Go Ahead are four points better in 10th.

RESULTS

FC Twente 3-1 Heracles

AZ Alkmaar 3-0 NAC Breda

PEC Zwolle 1-2 Vitesse

RKC Waalwijk 1-1 FC Groningen

Heerenveen 2-2 Roda JC

NEC Nijmegen 3-1 ADO Den Haag

SC Cambuur 2-0 Go Ahead Eagles

FC Utrecht 2-5 Feyenoord

Ajax 1-0 PSV

STANDINGS

140119 - Eredivisie

League table courtesy of FIFA.com

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EREDIVISIE WEEKS 7 & 8 ROUND-UP

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As our head writer Will Burns was away on holiday the past two weekends he was unable to keep up on the Eredivisie reports. He returns with a quick round-up of the past two matchdays in the Dutch top flight.

20131001 - PSV 4-0 Ajax

The new leaders in the division are PSV Eindhoven on the back of a huge 4-0 win over fierce rivals Ajax.  Frank de Boer’s defending champions tasted their biggest defeat on their since April 2009 when PSV put six past them. After a goal-less first half it was not until 53 mins when the floodgates opened. Slovenian striker Tim Matavz opened the floodgates in the 53rd minute following a mistake by Amsterdam goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer and then Jetro Willems, Oscar Hiljemark and Park Ji-Sung struck in rapid succession to finish off the visitors.  It was a bad week for de Boer who suffered a heavy 4-0 defeat in the Nou Camp against Barcelona the previous Wednesday.

The weekend after, the Eindhoven suffered their first defeat of the Eredivisie season losing 2-1 away to AZ Alkmaar. The league leaders fell behind in the 21st minute when an unmarked Nick Viergever headed in from a corner kick. Memphis Depay went close to levelling the score five minutes later, he fired a strike wide, via the fingertips of the keeper. However, Depay was not to be denied the equaliser, with the 19-year-old on target in the 35th minute with a wonderfully hit free-kick. However, the hosts went ahead in the 57th minute, through a stunning strike from Aron Johannsson. PSV remain top despite the defeat as AZ move up to third in the table.

After receiving the thumping from PSV on matchday 7, Ajax dished out a demolition of their own hitting Go Ahead Eagles for six. De Boer’s side desperately needed a response after their 4-0 mauling and duly delivered a morale-boosting performance. Like a week earlier, Ajax went into the break goal-less but a 48th-minute Jop van der Linden own goal opening the scoring. Young winger Lesley De Sa made it two in the 50th minute while Icelandic striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson’s quickfire brace complete a spell of four goals in five minutes. It was 5-0 when Lerin Duarte fired home in the 64th minute while Siem De Jong completed the scoring with 21 minutes remaining as Ajax moved into second place, level on 14 points with PEC Zwolle, who were held to a 0-0 draw at home to NAC Breda.

A week earlier Zwolle had slumped to a second successive defeat, going down 3-0 at Vitesse. On-loan Chelsea attacker Lucas Piazon scored twice for the Arnhem side, with his goals in the 35th and 88th minutes sandwiching a strike from Kelvin Leerdam.

Feyenoord continued their improved form with a 1-0 home win over FC Utrecht, Tonny Vilhena netting the only goal 10 minutes before half-time, while NAC Breda beat AZ Alkmaar 3-0. Danny Verbeek, Rydell Poepon and Elson Hooi all struck second-half goals for NAC who have now won back-to-back matches and scored eight times in the process having started the season with three defeats and two draws.

WEEK 7 RESULTS

Friday 20th September

GO AHEAD EAGLES 0-0 CAMBUUR

Saturday 21st September

HERACLES 0-3 FC TWENTE

FC GRONINGEN 4-1 RKC WAALWIJK

ADO DEN HAAG 1-1 NEC NIJMEGEN

RODA JC 3-3 HEERENVEEN

Sunday 22nd September

VITESSE 3-0 PEC ZWOLLE

FEYENOORD 1-0 FC UTRECHT

NAC BREDA 3-0 AZ ALKMAAR

PSV EINDHOVEN 4-0 AJAX

WEEK 8 RESULTS

Saturday 28th September

AZ ALKMAAR 2-1 PSV EINDHOVEN

RKC WAALWIJK 1-4 HERACLES

FC UTRECHT 3-3 RODA JC

PEC ZWOLLE 0-0 NAC BREDA

AJAX 6-0 GO AHEAD EAGLES

Sunday 29th September

NEC NIJMEGEN 2-3 VITESSE

HEERENVEEN 2-1 CAMBUUR

FEYENOORD 4-2 ADO DEN HAAG

FC TWENTE 5-0 FC GRONINGEN

STANDINGS

20131001 - Eredivisie

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Sunday 15th September 2013

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WEEK 6 – Sunday 15th September 2013

It was a case of goals galore once again in the Eredivisie as an amazing total of TWENTY-FOUR goals were seen over the day’s five games.

NEC - Feyenoord

NEC NIJMEGEN 3-3 FEYENOORD

A late Feyenoord equaliser from defender Bruno Martins Indi deprived NEC Nijmegen of their first win of the season, which saw Ronald Koeman’s side flee with a 3-3 draw.

The hosts nearly broke the deadlock but English striker Michael Higdon, still trying to find his feet in the Eredivisie, could not defeat Feyenoord goalkeeper Erwin Mulder in a one-on-one challenge.

The scoring began in the 26th minute as Lex Immers as he headed home a Ruben Schaken cross, however, it was 1-1 five minutes later.

Slovakian midfielder Samuel Štefánik, a new signing from Slovak side FK AS Trenčín on deadline day, caused Koeman’s defence lots of problems all afternoon and grabbed the equaliser. After Mulder parried the Slovak’s initial shot, but after the Feyenoord failed to clear the rebound, Štefánik poked the ball home.

The teams went into the break tied at a goal a piece but Feyenoord emerged the side looking more likely to go on to win the game. The game could have been dead and buried if the usually prolific Graziano Pellè had not crashed two shots off the woodwork early in the second period.

Feyenoord did go 2-1 up on the hour mark, young winger Jean-Paul Boëtius, playing his first game since March, scored after Immers played him through on goal, but that lead only lasted two minutes this time.

Once again it was some shocking defending from the Rotterdam side, as Mulder flapped at a Kevin Conboy free-kick and Feyenoord failed to clear as Icelandic midfielder Victor Palsson was free to tap in the leveller.

On 77 minutes, NEC took a shock lead, with Štefánik scoring his second goal of the game. A surging run forward by Søren Rieks, found Conboy down the left and he crossed for the Slovak midfielder to volley home with a powerful drive. A great debut for the 21-year-old Slovak.

For the remainder of the game, the Nijmegen side had to deal with a Feyenoord barrage but unfortunately for the home side Martins Indi was on hand to finally prod home a Boëtius cross in the final minute of the game.

Neither, Ronald Koeman or Anton Janssen, will be pleased with the point after leading the match.

AZ - Go Ahead Eagles

AZ ALKMAAR 3-0 GO AHEAD EAGLES

AZ clipped Go Ahead Eagles’ wings on Sunday afternoon with a 3-0 win at the AFAS Stadion to end a three-game winless streak in all competitions.

Aron Jóhannsson scored a 31st minute penalty to put Gertjan Verbeek’s side ahead. The goal ended a personal three-game drought for Jóhannsson.

Eagles held their own but strikers in stoppage-time from Viktor Elm and Steven Berghuis cemented the win for AZ.

SC Heerenveen - FC Groningen

HEERENVEEN 4-2 FC GRONINGEN

Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen have climbed to third in the Eredivisie, thanks to a 4-2 win over Groningen, helped by two goals from Icelandic striker Alfred Finnbogason. It was a great game to watch at the Abe Lenstra Stadion, but marred by terrible refereeing decisions by Danny Makkelie.

The referee made his mark on 11 minutes, giving a straight red to Groningen’s Timo Letschert a wild challenge. The tackle was wild, but the defender never left his feet in a 50-50 challenge with Luciano Slagveer. Slagveer jumped over the tackle and flipped over but Makkelie instead of giving a yellow card gave Letschert a red, and the visitors were in a real battle to gain something out of the game.

Within twenty minutes, the game was levelled out with both teams ending up with just ten men a piece. Giliano Wijnaldum entered the box to challenge Heerenveen’s on-loan defender Mitchell Dijks to a ball from Tjaronn Chery’s cross. Dijks slipped as Wijnaldum advanced on goal, but the defender grabbed the Groningen mans legs and brought him down for a penalty. Dijks was sent off and Nick van der Velden cheekily chipped home the spot-kick. Makkelie got his decision right this time round.

In the second half, Heerenveen began to up their search for an equaliser and in the 52nd minute, Yanic Wildschut found it. Rajiv van la Parra was determined to swing the ball in from the left and once he had beat Wijnaldum and whipped the ball in, the green shirts failed to clear. The ball feel to Wildschut on the back post who blasted a volley off the underside of the bar and into the net.

Heerenveen went in for the kill and scored a second just three minutes later, as Hungarian defender Kenny Otigba powerfully headed in a Magnus Eikrem inswinging corner past goalkeeper Marco Bizot.

The home side were not in control for long as sixty seconds later, Johan Kappelhof grabbed an equaliser. It was a cleverly worked free-kick from the left wing, as Van der Velden fired a low ball to the back post where Kappelhof was arriving unmarked to fire home via a deflection off Otigba’s boot.

After Bizot brought down Van la Parra in the area on 72 minutes, Finnbogason stepped up, converted the spot-kick and inside the final minute, Finnbogason put the icing on the cake and made sure of all three points. This takes his personal tally to eight in five games. An amazing feat this early in the season and no wonder he is wanted by some of Europe’s top clubs. Heerenveen will face a struggle to keep the Icelander at the club this coming winter.

The referee cards were not finished after 79 minutes he gave Chery his marching orders for a slight tussle in the box with Marten de Roon. It was a second yellow card for the Groningen winger but it was pure handbags by himself and De Roon, and the Heerenveen midfielder was not shown a card for his efforts in the battle.

Groningen’s head coach Erwin van de Looi had stated he will complain to the KNVB about the decisions that Makkelie made and will be appealing Letschert’s red card.

Roda JC Kerkrade - NAC Breda

RODA JC 1-5 NAC BREDA

In a shock win, NAC Breda thumped five past Roda JC to grab their first victory of the season.

Roda dominated the first period and actually took the lead just before the half-time whistle, when Mitchell Donald nodded in an excellent Mark Hocher ball from the right. However, the sides went into the interval level as Kees Kwakman headed home a Jordy Buijs free-kick.

The team talk Nebojša Gudelj must have gave his side worked as they arrived back onto the pitch and scored four goals in 25 minutes.

On 67 minutes, substitute Elson Hay poked home at the back post from a Mats Seuntjens sliding ball from the right byline. It was 3-1 just minutes later, as Seuntjes nipped in and stole the ball from Donald. The striker found himself through on goal and coolly finished past goalkeeper Filip Kurto.

Just a minute later, Roda’s day was over as they were reduced to ten men when Frank Demouge was dismissed for a high boot on Buijs. Yet another harsh sending off in the Eredivisie today.

With four minutes remaining, the Roda goal was breached again with Croatian Stipe Perica, on-loan from Chelsea making it four.

As the stadium emptied, Jeffrey Sarpong made it five, two minutes later.

FC Utrecht - RKC Waalwijk

FC UTRECHT 2-1 RKC WAALWIJK

In the final game of the weekend, FC Utrecht got back to winning ways with a narrow 2-1 over RKC Waalwijk.

Steve de Ridder, a recent signing from Southampton, scored two first goals before a Remy Amieux free-kick gave RKC a second-half consolation.

STANDINGS

20130915 - Eredivisie

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Friday 30th August 2013

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WEEK 5 – Friday 30th August 2013

Week five of the Eredivisie season began with NAC Breda and NEC Nijmegen battling to gain their first win of the season.

NAC Breda - NEC

NAC BREDA 1-1 NEC NIJMEGEN

However it was a very even game between the Eredivisie’s bottom sides finished with a deserved 1-1 draw, with new NEC coach Anton Janssen happy with the point.

After the dismissal of Alex Pastoor, following three heavy defeats a fortnight ago, NEC appointed former player Janssen as his permanent successor earlier this week. Janssen takes over from goalkeeping coach Wilfried Brookhuis, who was the cartetaker coach of last weekend’s 2-2 draw at RKC Waalwijk.

The hosts gained an early advantage after just four minutes of play. A whipping ball placed into the penalty area fell into the path of striker Rydell Poepon, who will never score an easier goal to make it 1-0.

Janssen, would have watched his new side ship five goals in their previous away game at PSV Eindhoven on the TV and the new coach would have feared the worst. But, Icelandic midfielder Victor Palsson, earned them a point with his 43rd-minute goal. It was a beautiful first-time effort after collecting Navarone Foor’s pass, chipping goalkeeper Jelle ten Rouwelaar from outside the area.

REMAINDER OF WEEK 5 FIXTURES

SATURDAY 31ST AUGUST

FC TWENTE vs. HEERENVEEN

HERACLES  vs. ADO DEN HAAG

RKC WAALWIJK vs. GO AHEAD EAGLES

PSV vs. SC CAMBUUR

SUNDAY 1ST SEPTEMBER

FC GRONINGEN vs. AJAX

PEC ZWOLLE vs. FC UTRECHT

AZ ALKMAAR vs. VITESSE

FEYENOORD vs. RODA JC

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Sunday 25th August 2013

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WEEK 4 – Sunday 25th August 2013

Feyenoord, FC Utrecht and Vitesse Arnhem all pulled off wins to try and salvage their season so far after poor starts in the opening three weeks. 

20130825 - GAE 3-3 Groningen

GO AHEAD EAGLES 3-3 FC GRONINGEN

Eredivisie new boys Go Ahead Eagles put in another valiant performance and were unlucky to go home with all three points early Sunday afternoon.

The hosts took the lead after just ten minutes with a yet another goal from Marnix Kolder. Erik Falkenburg found some space down the right and swung a ball across the goal for Kolder to slide home.

Groningen should have had an equaliser on the half-hour but the Eagles were saved by goalkeeper Eloy Room and the woodwork. Nick van der Velden floated in a free-kick that the home side failed to clear and the ball fell to Krisztián Adorján (on-loan from Liverpool) to smash a half-volley towards goal but Room tipped the shot against the crossbar.

On the stroke of half-time, the visitors found their goal. Van der Velden racxed through on goal after evading the offside trap and layed the ball into the on rushing Tjaronn Chery to tap home.

Three minutes after the restart, Eagles went 2-1 in front from that man again, Marnix Kolder. A weak goal that the Groningen defence horribly defended, and as the ball came out to Kolder’s feet, he placed the ball home past a stagnant Marco Bizot.

It was 2-2 on 53 minutes, the orchastator for the goal was the brilliant Filip Kostic. Surging down the left wing, turning Eagles defender Mawouna Amevor with ease, Kostic spun a low cross over to Adorján to finish beautifully.

The away fans weren’t celebrating for long. Just before the hour mark, left-back Xandro Schenk got forward and grabbed his second goal of the season,after another pitiful display of defending by Erwin van de Looi’s team. Various shots came in and Groningen failed to clear their lines, before Schenk blasted home on 59 minutes,

Groningen, 3-2 down and the game looked over on 69 minutes when Adorján received his marching orders for an elbow on Sjoerd Overgoor. It got worse two minutes later when Timo Letschert received his second booking for a clumsy challenge on the edge of the box.

However, the points were shared in the closing stages of the match when substitute striker Genaro Zeefuik scored for the nine men to clinch a vital draw. The powerhouse caused problems throughout his time on the pitch, but he scrambled a ball in after a corner on 87 minutes. It looked liked handball but the goal was awarded.

20130825 - Graziano Pelle feyenoord 2

FEYENOORD 3-1 NAC BREDA

Italian striker Graziano Pelle scored an excellent hat-trick to lead Feyenoord to a 3-1 victory over NAC Breda, the Rotterdam team’s first points of the season.

Feyenoord were dominant and looked a very different side to that over the past three weeks and could have been two or three goals up int he opening ten minutes. It was a feisty contest and scrappy at times with Jordy Clasie and Rydell Poepon both booked for a pushing contest they participated in on 21 minutes.

Tackles continued to fly throughout but we the first goal finally came on 37 minutes and it was the beginning of a quickfire double by Pelle. Clasie swung a free-kick from the left into the area where Pelle rose above everyone to head home, 1-0.

The ever-loud De Kuip got even louder from the kick-off with Pelle finishing a lovely move by Clasie. Two goals up and the home side were cruising.

Another header gave Pelle his treble on 53 minutes. New signing Samuel Armenteros found space down the left to swing a ball towards the back post where Pelle was waiting to nod another into the goal.

NAC’s Joey Suk got a consolation goal six minutes later but it was not enough to change the result.

The pressure is off Ronald Koeman slightly as he heads into a must win game against Kuban Krasnodar in the Europa League on Thursday night.

Vitesse - FC Twente

VITESSE 1-0 FC TWENTE

Peter Bosz’ Vitesse finally got back to winning ways on Sunday with a 1-0 home win over FC Twente.

Tall Japanese striker Mike Havenaar scored the only goal of the game on 22 minutes with a powerful header from a Theo Janssen corner.

The home side were the stronger of the two throughout and should have been two goals ahead on 25 minutes but on-loan Chelsea playmaker Lucas Piazon placed hi shot against the foot of the post.

Twente had their chances too, but poor finishing let them down and they returned back to Enschede with nothing to show for their efforts.

FC Utrecht - AZ

FC UTRECHT 2-0 AZ ALKMAAR

Jan Wouters lives to fight another day as FC Utrecht won their first game of the season to end a bad run, courtesy of two goals from summer signing Steve de Ridder.

After a goal-less first-half, De Ridder, signed from Premier League club Southampton last month, got the opening goal on 54 minutes. Great link-up play between Tommy Oar and Dave Bulthuis down the right set-up the goal, with Bulthuis crossing for De Ridder to slide the ball home.

The lead was extended on 66 minutes with De Ridder’s second. Oar again involved powering through the middle to set De Ridder through on goal, where the former Southampton striker finished coolly.

AZ look jaded and poor over the 90 minutes which may be due their Thursday night Europa League win in Greece over Atromitos. The second leg is this Thursday in Alkmaar, where AZ are leading 3-1 on aggregate.

STANDINGS

20130825 - Eredivisie

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Sunday 18th August 2013

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WEEK 3 – Sunday 18th August 2013

Frank de Boer’s Ajax defeated Rotterdam-based rival Feyenoord in Sunday afternoon’s De Klassieker, Heracles shock Heerenveen and ADO steal a late win at NAC Breda. However, the day ended with a horror show for FC Utrecht being hit for six by FC Twente.

Ajax - Feyenoord

AJAX 2-1 FEYENOORD

Ronald Koeman’s title hopes with Feyenoord look to be all over as they currently sit nine points adrift of leaders PSV and PEC Zwolle. A Kolbeinn Sigthórsson brace helped Ajax defeated Koeman’s side 2-1 in the first De Klassieker of the season.

The Ajax eleven had to make changes from the team that were defeated 3-2 away to AZ Alkmaar last Sunday. Inspirational captain Siem de Jong is set to miss up to six weeks with a collapsed lung and Danish stalwart Christian Poulsen took his place in Frank de Boer’s team. Feyenoord also need to make changes due to the double sending-off of Stefan de Vrij and Jordy van Deelan last week against FC Twente. Nineteen-year-old right-back Sven van Beek made his debut with Miquel Nelom sitting in at left-back. Koeman had left new signing Samuel Armenteros, on-loan from Anderlecht, on the bench.

Feyenoord have now lost three matches in a row, which is their worst ever start to a season but they took the lead after just six minutes of play. A Ruud Vormer free-kick was swung towards the back post which hit Poulsen on the torso and dropped into Graziano Pelle’s feet. Kenneth Vermeer failed to clear and the Italian striker stabbed the ball into the net.

Before today, Ajax were unbeaten in the last 12 matches at the Amsterdam ArenA, the last defeat coming at the hands of Vitesse Arnhem, 2-0 in November 2012. De Boer’s side took control of the possession and pushed for an equaliser immediately.

Belgian defender Toby Alderweireld smashed a long-range effort towards goal on 17 minutes, all Erwin Mulder could do was parry the ball into Lasse Schöne’s path but the Dane spooned the shot wide.

Relentless in their attack, Ajax nearly got the goal two minutes later. Winger Ruben Schaken got caught in defence with the ball at his feet; Christian Eriksen picked his pocket but like his compatriot earlier placed the shot wide.

Just before the half-hour, Ajax turned up the tempo and after Mulder saved another effort from Eriksen, the defending champions were awarded a penalty.

Another Dane, the tricky Viktor Fischer was dribbling towards goal and Vormer dived in to tackle but brought the youngster down. Or so we thought, replays showed that Fischer clearly dived and Vormer failed to make any contact with the striker. Nevertheless, referee Björn Kuipers pointed to the spot and Iceland international Sigthórsson powerfully converted the spot kick.

Six minutes later, Sigthórsson got his and his team’s second. The Icelandic striker, now getting a permanent starting position after a long series of injuries, nodded a header in from a Ruben Ligeon cross. There was a bit of confusion as the header crashed off the underside of crossbar, but it bounced over the line. Fischer had a great chance to make it 3-1 before the half-time whistle but he crashed his shot against the post.

The second-half was majorly uneventful and although Feyenoord saw more of the ball, De Boer’s side held on for the three points. Ronald Koeman is now under major pressure as his side has failed to pick up a point in three matches and must start next week hosting NAC Breda. For Ajax, they travel to face Heerenveen to try and keep the pace of the title race as PSV run on.

SC Heerenveen - Heracles Almelo

HEERENVEEN 2-4 HERACLES

After a great start to the new campaign by Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen, they fell 4-2 to Heracles Almelo this afternoon.

De Superfriezen’s Icelandic hotshot Alfred Finnbogason, was at it again, scoring his fourth goal in three games after just three minutes into the game. Celtic have been watching Finnbogason to replace the void that Gary Hooper left by leaving for Norwich. The Scottish scouts would have been impressed they way he headed home Magnus Eikrem’s corner after escaping his marker at the near post.

Heracles were in poor form before today and their star player Lerin Duarte should have levelled the scores on 24 minutes. The midfielder found himself breaking the offside trap and was one-on-one with Kristoffer Nordfeldt, but Duarte hauled his shot wide of the post.

Ghanaian striker Matthew Amoah had another opportunity to draw level on 33 minutes, but his toe poke from close range was denied by Nordfeldt. Just before the teams broke for the interval, Duarte got his goal. Striker Mikhail Rosheuval whipped in a cross and there was Duarte to head home to equalise. Swedish ‘keeper Nordfeldt will be disappointed in the goalkeeping for this goal as the header squirmed under his legs.

The second period started slowly and the hosts have a great chance to regain the lead ten minutes into the half. Finnbogason was through on goal but instead of taking a shot the Icelandic international unselfishly passed to Luciano Slagveer who fired his shot into the arms of Remko Pasveer.

On 62 minutes, some poor defending by Van Basten’s men was punished by Ben Reinstra. Kenny Otigba dwelled on the ball and Reinstra finished with precision.

It was 3-2 six minutes later with a tremendous volleyed goal from Mike te Weirik. From 25 yards out, Te Weirik hit the ball sweetly on the half volley, giving the goalkeeper no chance of stopping.

On 72 minutes, Heerenveen grabbed a goal back and got themselves back in the game, as Rajiv van La Parra’s cross was turned in by Joey van den Berg.

Heracles sealed the win with two minutes remaining with another cracking goal. Bryan Linssen, a summer signing from relegated VVV Venlo, used some tremendous skill to cut inside the box from the left, before power driving a first time shot past Nordfeldt.

The first three points for Heracles and a much improved performance from their last two outings. As for Marco van Basten’s side, it was a disappointing defeat that highlighted some problems that need to be sorted if their aim is for European football next year.

NAC Breda - ADO Den Haag

NAC BREDA 1-2 ADO DEN HAAG

We had to wait until 76 minutes for the deadlock to be broken. Aaron Meijers picked the ball up just outside the penalty area before smashing a shot past goalkeeper Jelle ten Rouwelaar.

NAC Breda equalised from the penalty spot, which was their first goal of the season. ADO’s goalkeeper Gino Coutinho fouled Alex Schalk, and the striker converted to make it 1-1.

We still had time for drama deep into second-half stoppage time. With his first touch of the game since coming on, Michiel Kramer fired past Ten Rouwelaar to snatch the three points.

FC Twente - FC Utrecht

FC TWENTE 6-0 FC UTRECHT

The future of Jan Wouters in charge of Utrecht is in major doubt after a disastrous six goal defeat away to FC Twente.

The day started badly for Utrecht in the warm-up with first choice goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter picking up an injury and thus Jeroen Verhoeven replacing him in the first eleven.

Twente hit their first goal after just eight minutes when Quincy Promes twisting and turning two defender then hitting a low shot past Verhoeven. Two minutes later, Twente were awarded a dubious penalty, after an apparent foul by defender Johan Mårtensson on Shadrach Eghan. Serbian international Dušan Tadić converted the spot-kick to double the lead.

Shell-shocked Utrecht were 3-0 down after 25 minutes. Promes picked up a long ball in space down the right-wing, crossed into the box for Luc Castaignos to fire home.

It gopt worse for Wouters’ men as Castaignos added his second and his sides fourth on 35 minutes. The striker met a Tadić cross, with a diving header.

It was five twenty minutes into the second half. Tadić surged down the left-wing, before sending a pinpoint accurate cross into the box for Promes to nab his second.

Just before the final whistle, the final nail in Utrecht’s coffin was hammered home as captain Rasmus Bengtsson sent a powerful header past Verhoeven again.

Wouters and Utrecht now look set for a relegation battle this season and between the manager and Alex Pastoor of NEC, they both look favourites to be dismissed soon.

STANDINGS

20130818 - Eredivisie

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