Tag Archives: PSV

Fulham flop to be loaned to PSV


Costa Rican attacking midfielder Bryan Ruiz has agreed to join PSV Eindhoven on loan for the rest of the season after a disappointing season and a half in the Premier League with Fulham.

Purchased in August 2011 for £10.6m by the now-departed manager Martin Jol, big things were expected from the 28-year-old. However, Ruiz has failed to live up to expectations and scored just eight goals for the Cottagers in 68 appearances.

Before moving to London, Ruiz starred for FC Twente. Twente signed the Costa Rican for €5 from Belgian side Racing Genk, and the player signed a four-year contract. In the Eredivisie, he netted 35 times in 65 games thus earning him the admirations of Martin Jol.

This past week, new Fulham boss René Meulensteen while talking to the BBC, he stated that Ruiz would be allowed to leave in this transfer window due to the player’s demands to play first team football: “We have allowed Bryan Ruiz to talk to a number of clubs to see if something can come out of that.

“Don’t get me wrong, he is a very good player. I’ve come in, I’ve looked at the squad, worked with these players, I’ve picked my teams on what I think are the right reasons and motivations, but I can also understand Bryan’s point of view.

“He is a good player, has a World Cup coming up and he obviously needs to play, but I can’t, like with any other player, guarantee that.”

PSV Technical Director Marcel Brands tonight has spoke to Eindhoven’s Dagblad and confirmed that the player has agreed to join PSV. The Eindhoven club has no option to buy Ruiz, but they will pay Fulham a €1m fee to loan the player and will now apply for a work permit. Tomorrow, Ruiz will travel to Eindhoven to finalize deal.


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PSV’s All-Time XI


It’s notoriously difficult to pick an all-time eleven. However, they make for great entertainment in bar-room debates of a weekend, so it was that I sat down this week to compile my all-time PSV team. I poured through historical records, aiming to highlight those true greats who often go without recognition but are deserving nonetheless. Furthermore, I tried to concentrate on the legacy created by certain players and incorporate my own appreciation of their skills into the team. Accordingly, one or two of my favourites make somewhat surprising appearances.

As with most all-time teams, this is a highly subjective process and you are bound to disagree with some selections. If so, I would be really interested to see what your team all-time team would look like. I’m always open to a great Dutch football debate.

So, without further adieu, here is my all-time PSV team:

GK: Hans van Breukelen, PSV 1984-94

An alert goalkeeper who helped Oranje win Euro ’88, van Breukelen played in excess of 300 times for PSV after signing from Nottingham Forest. In Eindhoven, he was part of a richly successful team and won six Eredivisie titles and three KNVB Cups. The Utrecht-born stopper is most famous for a fantastic penalty shootout save which won PSV the European Cup against Benfica in 1988. Nowadays, van Breukelen works as an entrepreneur and also serves on the PSV board.

RB: Eric Gerets, PSV 1985-92

A rampaging right-back, Gerets is widely considered one of the greatest Belgian footballers of all-time. During an illustrious spell at PSV, Gerets was affectionately nicknamed “Lion” due to his long flowing hair and beard. Gerets won six Eredivise titles as a player, in addition to two KNVB Cups, and remains the only PSV captain ever to lay hands on the European Cup. Currently, Gerets manages Lekhwiya SC in Qatar.

CB: Huub Stevens, PSV 1975-86

The grizzled Stevens was a combative defender who took no prisoners. A brave-hearted winner, Stevens helped PSV to three Eredivisie titles and one KNVB Cup triumph during his eleven year spell. He also starred for the UEFA Cup-winning PSV side of 1978, producing a valiant display in the Final. After retiring, Stevens embarked on a distinguished coaching career, most notably with PSV, Schalke 04 and Hamburg. Now, he is head coach of PAOK Salonika.

CB: Jaap Stam, PSV 1996-98

Stam may have spent only two seasons at the Philips Stadion, but his fantastic performances helped the club win one Eredivisie title and KNVB Cup whilst also opening the door to a distinguished career throughout Europe. PSV received a then-record £10.6m transfer fee for the robust defender, who went on to play for Manchester United, Lazio, Milan and Ajax, where he currently serves as a coach.

LB: Jan Heintze, PSV 1982-94, 1999-2003

A whole-hearted, defensive-minded full-back, Heintze made over 500 appearances for PSV during two separate spells. Heintze is perhaps the most-decorated PSV player of all-time, having won nine Eredivisie titles, three KNVB Cups, three Johan Cruyff Shields and one European Cup during sixteen years of loyal service. Heintze is now a commercial real-estate developer in the Eindhoven area.

CM: Willy van de Kerkhof, PSV 1973-88

A consummate box-to-box midfielder, Willy van de Kerkhof was an integral part of some great PSV and Oranje teams. Along with twin brother Rene, Willy represented Oranje on 63 occasions, including World Cups in ’74 and ’78. At PSV, van de Kerkhof also won six Eredivisie titles, in addition to three KNVB Cups and, of course, the 1988 European Cup. The great Pele named Willy one of the top 125 living footballers in 2004, a fitting tribute to a fine player. He currently works for his own business networking firm in Eindhoven.

CDM: Mark van Bommel, PSV 1999-2005, 2012-13

When I first began watching PSV, Mark van Bommel embodied the heart and soul of the club. He was tenacious, driven and passionate; a fine captain who was often misunderstood by the British media. After arriving from Fortuna Stittard in 1992, van Bommel played a vital role in PSV winning four Eredivisie titles, one KNVB Cup and four Johan Cruyff Shields. A current coach within the PSV youth system, van Bommel also played for Barcelona, Bayern Munich and AC Milan before returning and ending his career in Eindhoven last term.

CM: Phillip Cocu, PSV 1995-98, 2004-07, Current Manager

A clean-spirited maestro, Cocu was born and raised in Eindhoven before starring for PSV in numerous spells and capacities. A centurion for Oranje, Cocu is a fan favourite at the Philips Stadion, having won four Eredivise titles and two KNVB Cups in a career which also took him to Barcelona. I remember Cocu mostly for his second spell at the club, a magical time during which he was club captain. Nowadays, Cocu is manager at PSV, having coached within the academy since retirement.

CAM: Ruud Gullit, PSV 1985-87

Ruud Gullit is one of the greatest Dutch footballers who ever lived. In an illustrious career highlighted by Euro ’88 success and European Footballer of the Year honours in 1987, Gullit used PSV as a springboard on to the world stage. The silky-skilled midfielder was versatile and dynamic, scoring 53 goals in just 75 PSV games, whilst providing innumerable assists. A defining image from the Eredivisie during this era has Gullit streaming effortlessly through midfield for PSV, with dreadlocks dancing and toes twinkling. The former Oranje captain now works occasionally within the football media.

ST: Willy van der Kujlen, PSV 1964-81

A standard-bearer for a future lineage of exceptional PSV strikers, van der Kuijlen was awarded a statue at the main entrance of the Philips Stadion, a fitting tribute to his incredible legacy. In seventeen years, Mr PSV scored a 311 goals for the club, an untouchable record which is unlikely ever to be broken. The clinical striker won three Eredivisie championships, two KNVB Cups and was a scorer in triumphant 1978 UEFA Cup Final.

ST: Mateja Kežman, PSV 2000-04

The Doelpuntenmachine, Kežman is my all-time PSV idol. I grew up watching him score at an obscene rate in the early Millennium, earning worldwide recognition and shooting PSV to two further Eredivisie championships. A move to Chelsea sullied Mateja’s reputation in Britain, but his 105 goals in 122 PSV appearances earn him a place in my legendary lineup. Kežman retired in 2011, and is now working as a sports agent.

Manager: Guus Hiddink, PSV 1987-90, 2002-06

A highly-respected figure within world football, Hiddink is royalty in Eindhoven. The rotund coach, who brought his fine tactical acumen to jobs with Oranje, Real Madrid, Russia and Chelsea during an extensive career, oversaw two unique periods of absolute domination for PSV. In all, he steered the club to six Eredivisie titles, four KNVB Cups, one Johan Cruyff Shields and, of course, the European Cup of 1988. Now, Hiddink is seeking one last challenge after a truncated spell with Russian side Anzhi.

Substitutes Bench

Ronaldo – Yes, the Brazilian Ronaldo. Even before Barça, Madrid, Inter and Milan, Ronaldo spent two years in Eindhoven with PSV. He tore through the Eredivisie with 42 goals in 46 games.

Ruud van Nistelrooy – A phenomenal striker at PSV, Ruud scored a staggering 62 goals in just 67 appearances for his hometown club before a £19m move to Manchester United. He now works as a coach within the PSV youth academy.

Romário – One of the few known men to score 1,000 career goals, Romário beguiled a generation with five years of brilliance at PSV from 1988-93. Also, branded a “genius” by Johan Cruyff.

Coen Dillen – The first great PSV goalscorer, Dillen set the record which van der Kuijlen broke; his 288 goals helping to success at the dawn of professionalism in Dutch football.

Luc Nilis – A real fans favourite at PSV, Belgian Nilis formed a formidable partnership with van Nistelrooy and ultimately scored over a century of goals for the club in a six-year period.

Arjen Robben – You can’t have Batman (Kežman), without Robben. Arjen was one of my first PSV heroes, back when he had hair! Now, of course, he is one of the world’s very best players, and scored the winner in last years Champions League Final for Bayern Munich.

Rene van de Kerkhof – The twin brother of Willy, Rene was also a fine player for PSV and Oranje, winning multiple medals and earning similar recognition amongst Pele’s top 125 living players.

So, that’s my team. In total, the chosen players have made thousands of appearances for PSV, won hundreds of medals, and won earned a place within the clubs illustrious history. Now, let’s see if you can pick a team to beat mine.


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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.


Friday 20th September


Saturday 21st September





Sunday 22nd September






Saturday 28th September






Sunday 29th September






20131001 - Eredivisie



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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Saturday 14th September 2013


WEEK 6 – Saturday 14th September 2013

The Eredivisie returns after the international break and PEC Zwolle stay top even though they tasted their first defeat away to Ajax, as PSV stay second with a 2-2 draw at Twente.

20130915 - Mustafa Saymak PEC Zwolle


Ajax head coach Frank de Boer admitted that he was lucky to see his side come out of Saturday’s evening game with PEC Zwolle with all three points as he watched his side scored two very lucky goals.

De Boer played with a young eleven after the sales of Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld before the transfer deadline. A new look strikeforce of Viktor Fischer, Danny Hoesen and Tobias Sana was the three-pronged attack with Siem de Jong and Kolbeinn Sigthórsson sitting on the bench, to be used if needed.

Ajax started the brighter and could have been ahead after 12 minutes if it weren’t for a superb point blank save by Kevin Begois in the visiting goal. Zwolle failed to clear a corner and new boy Lerin Duarte, recent signing from Heracles, whipped the ball in to meet the head of defender Stefano Denswil at the back post. Unfortunately for the defender, he placed his header into the hands of Begois who palmed the ball away.

It was visitors who created the next best chance on 36 minutes, and should have been ahead except for an offside decision that the TV replays proved to be incorrect. A Stef Nijland shot stung the hands of Kenneth Vermeer, and Mustafa Saymak rushed in and placed the rebound home, but the linesman had his flag up but the replays showed he was online with last defender.

De Boer and Ron Jans’ saw their teams head in at 0-0, however, three minutes before the whistle Zwolle should have had a penalty. Ricardo van Rhijn, who was given a torrid time by PEC striker Fred Benson, was caught on the camera pulling the Benson’s shirt inside the box. Benson stayed on his feet until the ball was cleared and fell down at the wrong moment, and referee Reinold Wiedemeijer waved away any appeals.

The game was hardly a classic and De Boer made a double substitution just after the hour mark. The returning Siem de Jong, previously out with a collapsed lung, arrived along with the on-loan Bojan replacing the uneventful pairing of Fischer and Hoesen.

Ten minutes later, we finally saw our first goal from South African international Thulani Serero. Fellow compatriot Kamohelo Mokotjo tried to clear the ball out the box but it fell to Serero. The young midfielder smashed a shot goalwards and Mokotjo was blocking the path of goalkeeper Begois and deflected the ball into the net. The Belgian keeper was not happy but it was an unfortunate goal.

On 76 minutes, Ajax doubled the lead in the same lucky fashion. A poor clearance from Begois fed the ball into the feet of Icelandic substitute Sigthórsson whom fired his shot against the foot of the post. The ball flicked up and hit Zwolle defender Maikel van der Werff into the chest which spiralled the rebound into the goal past the helpless Begois. On the sideline, De Boer shook his head instead of celebrating.

Earlier, Zwolle striker Guyon Fernandez arrived replacing Fred Benson and he nearly grabbed a goal back with six minutes to go. A great run allowed the on-loan striker to skip past Vermeer with ease, but his shot from wide was headed off the line by Denswil.

Zwolle got their consolation from a wonderful striker from yet another substitute Giovanni Gravenbeek. The ball fell to the Suriname-born defender on 89 minutes, just outside the box and Gravenbeek hit an outstanding right foot curler into the net smashing down from the underside of the bar.

The hosts anxiously held on for the final moments to dish out a first season defeat for Jans’ Zwolle side, before heading on a flight to Spain for Wednesday’s opening Champions League Group H game with Barcelona. On this performance, Lionel Messi and Neymar should not be troubled by the Dutch champions.

SC Cambuur - Heracles Almelo


Cambuur’s impressive start to the campaign continues with a 2-0 victory over the poor Heracles Almelo.

After holding PSV to a 0-0 draw in the Philips Stadion before the break for internationals, the Eredivisie new boys started the game confidently but had to wait until 42 minutes to score their opening goal.  A cross from Oebele Schokker found the head of Michiel Hemmen before Heracles goalkeeper Remko Pasveer could get his punch to it.

Cambuur secured the win with just two minutes remanining when a Marcel Ritzmaier cross, on-loan from PSV, took a deflection off Jason Davidson, which looped over Pasveer to make it 2-0 late on.

Cambuur are now into the top half of the league, while Heracles lose their third game out of the six and sit 12th but after losing Lerin Duarte to Ajax in the window, this season could be a struggle for them. They will look to new signing Iliass Bel Hassani from Sparta Rotterdam to help them create and score the goals, but it is a big ask for the 20-year-old attacking midfielder.

Blom gelast ADO Den Haag - Vitesse af


A waterlogged pitch saw the postponement of Vitesse’s trip to Den Haag on Saturday evening, the game is yet to be rescheduled.

FC Twente - PSV


Philip Cocu’s PSV stay second in the league table after a 2-2 draw at FC Twente in Saturday’s late game.

The Eindhoven side nearly inadvertently took the lead early on after six minutes when a Joshua Brenet cross was headed off his own crossbar by Danish defender Andreas Bjelland.

Although, Twente looked the more dangerous of the two sides in the opening moments and took the lead on 17 minutes. Nineteen-year-old Shadrach Eghan layed the ball off on the right wing to Luc Castaignos and continued his run into the box. His marker, Stijn Schaars, left the Ghanaian midfielder unmarked and the youngster turned Jeffrey Bruma and fired past Jeroen Zoet.

The hosts could have been further ahead straight off the restart, when some shaky defending allowed Castaignos to fire a shot at Zoet. It was a firm stop by the young ‘keeper. On the half-hour, Zoet was tested again by a Dusan Tadic free-kick but held firm.

The visitors held the greater possession after the goal but and could not create any clear cut opportunities. On 32 minutes, Ji-Sung Park played Georginio Wijnaldum into the box but the midfielder’s shot was straight at Nick Marsman in the Twente goal.

After the break, PSV stepped up their game up, and moments after Memphis Depay had been denied a penalty and stung Marsman’s hands with a vicious shot from the left, he created the equaliser.

Depay surged down the left and swung in a beautiful cross into the back post where Wijnaldum was able to nod home unmarked from close range.

Head coach Philip Cocu introduced Zakaria Bakkali and Ola Toivonen off the bench on 66 minutes replacing Park and Adam Maher and straight away PSV should have took the lead. After a marauding run by Bakkali the ball fell perfectly at Wijnaldum’s feet in the box but he blazed the shot over the bar. It was a poor miss which PSV were made to pay for minutes later.

Tadic twisted Brenet inside out on the left wing and crossed deep for Castaignos to cushion a header into Quincy Promes, who volleyed his side into the lead from a few yards out.

PSV levelled with just seven minutes remaining with Memphis Depay cutting in from the left before firing a shot off defender Roberto Rosales which deflected past Marsman.

The game finished 2-2 and Castaignos and Schaars were involved in a shoving match after the final whistle. The big Twente striker had to be restrained by players from both sides and may be trouble from the KNVB after an investigation.

This is now PSV’s third league draw in succession and they will now entertain Bulgarian side Ludogorets on Thursday in their opening Europa League Group B game.










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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Saturday 31st August 2013


WEEK 5 – Saturday 31st August 2013

PSV were held at home by new boys SC Cambuur on their big anniversary day, as Go Ahead Eagles keep flying towards the top end of the division.

FC Twente - SC Heerenveen


FC Twente escaped with a 1-1 draw at home to Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen as Swede defender Rasmus Bengtsson struck a late equaliser.

FC Twente were in control of the majority of the game as Heerenveen, without star striker Alfred Finnbogason due to a toe injury, took the lead through midfielder Joey Van der Berg score on 64 minutes.

The draw means both sides are locked just outside the top two positions.

Heracles Almelo - ADO Den Haag


Heracles managed to hold on to their lead this week as they beat ADO Den Haag 1-0 at home.

ADO are in the middle of a poor run, only winning one of the last five games and it was the hosts that dominated.

Australian left-back Jason Davidson got the only goal of the game on the half-hour mark with Heracles failing to add to that goal, but remaining comfortable throughout.

RKC Waalwijk - Go Ahead Eagles


Go Ahead Eagles are still soaring as Erik Falkenburg hit a hat-trick in the 4-1 defeat of RKC Waalwijk.

The former Jong Oranje international joined the Eagles on loan from AZ Alkmaar in early August and opened his account in fine style as they secured their second win of the season.

After notching two first-half goals, the 25-year-old completed his hat trick midway through the second half, while Marnix Kolder added a fourth goal from the penalty spot.

Denzel Slager pulled one back three minutes from time for Waalwijk, which has earned just one point from its last three games.

PSV - SC Cambuur


PSV’s anniversary celebrations were spoiled as they were held to a 0-0 home draw by newly promoted Eredivisie rivals SC Cambuur in the evening game.

The Eindhoven side were celebrating their 100th year in football, and could have gone top with a win, but Philip Cocu’s side slipped to their fourth consecutive game in all competitions without a win.

PSV had the most of possession and fired in more shots than their opponents, but a lack of accuracy cost both sides as they each only managed two on target.

PSV were eliminated from the Champions League in Wednesday’s play-off by Milan and will hope they come back from the international break reinvigorated as they ready themselves for a championship battle and a Europa League campaign.









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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Saturday 24th August 2013


WEEK 4 – Saturday 24th August 2013

PEC Zwolle sit top of the Eredivisie standings with their fourth win in four as Ji-Park Sung, on his league debut scored a late equaliser to keep PSV’s undefeated run in tact.

NEC - RKC Waalwijk


Managerless NEC Nijmegen nearly clinched their first win of the season through two Michael Higdon spot-kicks but two second-half goals in seven minutes provided a comeback for RKC Waalwijk to share the points.

Alex Pastoor was dismissed on Monday and life without him began with two first-half penalties from Englishman Michael Higdon. Scouser Higdon, was the top scorer in the Scottish Premier League last season with Motherwell, was also named PFA Scotland Players’ Player of the Year because of his accomplishments.

A third penalty of the game gave RKC a lifeline midway through the second period, Sander Duits blasting the spot-kick high into the goal.

With twenty minutes remaining RKC were level. Luxembourg international Aurélien Joachim scoring with a wonderful looping header, from an Ingo van Weert cross deep from the right.

The points were shared and NEC will look this week to replace Pastoor with a new head coach.

Heracles Almelo - PSV


Incredibly unlucky not to grab all three, Heracles gained a fantastic point against PSV, who looked to be suffering from a Champions League hangover.

Six minutes into the play Heracles scored their goal. PSV’s left-winger Memphis Depay knocked the ball too far out of his control near the edge of his own area and Kwame Quansah dove in and won the ball. Lerin Duarte, controlled the ball and curled it home on the edge of the box past the diving Jeroen Zoet. A great finish.

Depay almost made amends to his mistake on 11 minutes with a trademark long-range free-kick that forced a great scrambling save from Remko Pasveer.

Phillip Cocu’s men looked jaded and sloppy and it was the unfavoured hosts that looked more likely to score the next goal. Bryan Linssen, who scored a wonderful volleyed goal last week, went close with a free-kick of his own on 20 minutes.

As time went on, the Eindhoven got a control of the game and the liveliest of the attacking three, Florian Jozefzoon went close with a shot towards Pasveer’s near post which the goalkeeper turned behind.

PSV should have been level inside first-half stoppage, Jozefzoon again involved worked his way into the box and played in Jurgen Locadia, but a last ditch tackle by Mike te Wierik folied any attempt.

The home side could have furthered their lead minutes into the second period when Linssen curled a beautiful shot towards Zoet’s goal but PSV were saved by the crossbar.

Shortly after the hour mark, Cocu’s side suffered a major blow when Georginio Wijnaldum went down after a 50-50 tackle with Te Wierik. The PSV captain had to be helped from the pitch, due to a problem with his right foot and was replaced by Korean attacking midfielder Park Ji-Sung. Assessments will be made on Monday morning and it is unknown if Wijnaldum will travel with the squad to Milan for Wednesday’s second leg in the Champions League play-off.

Cocu staring his first defeat since taking over as PSV coach in the face was saved by the little Korean with just four minutes to go. Midfielder Stijn Schaars forced his way into the box feeding the ball to Park, who tussled with Heracles defenders before toe poking the ball past Pasveer.

It was the first points that PSV have dropped this season, making a tremendous start to the campaign but they fall into second place after Zwolle’s win later that evening.

ADO Den Haag - Roda JC Kerkrade


In an unexpected result, Roda JC hammered four past ADO to move up to fourth in the league.

The visitors controlled the game from the off and went a goal ahead in the 25th minute, when defender Kees Luijckx out jumped Tom Beugelsdijk at the back post to head in a Marc Höcher cross.

Just before the half-time whistle the lead was doubled from Henk Dijkhuizen.

Surging into the ADO area, Dijkhuizen played a one-two with forward Krisztián Németh before placing the ball into the net with ease.

Even though ADO arrive back on the pitch after the interval looking hungry to get themselves back in the game, it was Roda, on 53 minutes, who grabbed a third. ADO keeper Gino Coutinho was totally caught out by Mark-Jan Fledderus’s free-kick which missed everyone and sailed into the net.

The final nail in ADO’s coffin came with a quarter-of-an-hour remaning. Flicking on another Fledderus free-kick, Mitchell Donald nodded the ball past Coutinho to make it four.

ADO have made a poor start with just the one win this season, as Roda stroll on undefeated in the last three games.

PEC Zwolle - SC Cambuur


Although it was quite the even match, PEC Zwolle won their fourth consecutive game against a plucky SC Cambuur side that had their chances to score goals.

It was a goal-less and pretty uneventful first-half with Zwolle striker Fred Benson, usually clinical with his finishing, missed some glorious opportunities to breach Leonard Nienhuis’s goal.

Guyon Fernandez, on-loan from Feyenoord, arrived in the second-half as a half-time substitute for Mustafa Saymak, and opening the scoring with twenty minutes to go. Benson held up the ball in the box and layed it off to Mateusz Klich to drive at goal. Nienhuis could only the parry the ball into the path of Fernandez, who controlled the ball with his hand before tapping home.

The lead should been doubled minutes later, Benson again through on goal, placed his shot into the side-netting.

With twelve minutes to go it was 2-0, the tricky Jesper Drost was tripped by Martijn van der Laan and the referee pointed to the spot. Rochdi Achenteh stepped up and fired home to steal the three points for the new league leaders.









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20130807 - PSV

PSV face AC Milan in a Champions League preliminary round match-up to decide who makes it through to the group stages of Europe’s elite competition, and a tight game is expected between two sides that are no stranger to high profile continental clashes.

Both sides have won the Champions League before, PSV winning the trophy in 1988 while AC Milan have lifted the European Cup seven times, most recently in 2007. The sides last met in European competition at the semi-final stage in 2005, when an Massimo Ambrosini goal sent the Rossoneri through to the Champions League final.

Despite losing star players like Kevin Strootman and Dries Mertens, PSV have built their team around a youth philosophy managed by former PSV and Barcelona star Philip Cocu.


Zoet; Arias, Bruma, Rekik, Willems; Wijnaldum, Hiljemark, Maher; Jozefzoon, Locadia, Depay.


Abbiati, Abate, Zapata, Silvestre, Constant, De Jong, Montolivo, Poli, Boateng, El Shaarawy, Balotelli.

Player to watch: Stephan El Shaarawy

While all eyes will be on Mario Balotelli, Stephan El Shaarawy comes off a sharp pre-season and will look to start the 2013-14 season in the same manner he began the 2012-13 one. Pacy, hard-working with excellent technique and flair, “Il Faraone” could benefit from Balotelli attracting defensive attention and become Milan’s matchwinner on Tuesday.

Prediction: PSV 1-2 AC MILAN

Milan should get a scare from PSV who will be sharper and fitter due to already starting the Eredivisie season three weeks ago, while Massimiliano Allegri’s side may still be a little rusty. However, experience and quality should show through, and Milan are expected to have too much for their largely inexperienced opponents.


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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Saturday 17th August 2013


WEEK 3 – Saturday 17th August 2013

PSV and surprisngly PEC Zwolle have three wins out of three and top the table after matchday one of week three. Only themselves and Heerenveen have 100% records with the Friesian side due to play on Sunday at home to Heracles.

PSV - Go Ahead Eagles


PSV keep up their 100% record with another win at home to Go Ahead Eagles, who headed into this game undefeated coming off a great victory hosting ADO Den Haag last weekend.

Eindhoven coach Philip Cocu needed to make two changes to his team due to injuries to young duo Jurgen Locadia and Zakaria Bakkali. Slovenian Tim Matavz returned in the lone spot up front with Florian Jozefzoon appearing on the right-wing in his first start for the club since his €850,000 move from RKC.

It was an even first-half with either ‘keeper being worked well but PSV right-back Santaigo Arias, a 20-year-old Colombian recently signed from Sporting Lisbon, was suffering with Eagles’s left-wing attacks. Down the left, Xander Houtkoop and Deniz Türüç were getting past Arias time after time, therefore Cocu made the decision to sub the Colombian for 19-year-old Joshua Brenet after half-an-hour, and the youngster coped well throughout.

Memphis Depay, on PSV’s left-wing, got into the game towards the end of the first half and Eagles goalkeeper Eloy Room, on loan from Vitesse, had to stop him three times from scoring before the interval.

Arriving for the second half, PSV stormed out of the blocks and found a breakthrough within two minutes. Jetro Willems finding space down the left, fired a ball across the box, Matatvz intercepted at the front post and placed Jozefzoon in to score on his first start.

The Philips Stadion faithful roared their team on and it was two eight minutes later. Swedish international Oscar Hiljemark hitting a low long range effort past Room from around 25 yards out.

The game was wrapped up with nine minutes remaining with a 30 yard free-kick from Depay. A swerving driving effort, that Room could only manage to palm onto the post but into the goal.

Another good win for Philip Cocu’s men who sit on top with superior goal difference to second placed PEC Zwolle, ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League first leg tie against Serie A giants AC Milan.

SC Cambuur - FC Groningen


After a promising start to the season, the world has come crashing down on Groningen, suffering a heavy 4-1 shock defeat away to lowly SC Cambuur.

Cambuur had failed to score a goal in the past two weeks of the season but they managed to find the net within two minutes of this match. Michiel Hemmen, scoring his first goal in the Eredivisie, pounced on a loose ball to finish after a mistake by Eric Botteghin.

It could have been two after 12 minutes with Groningen goalkeeper Marco Bizot saving his side on many occasions with a barrage of Cambuur attacks. The home side’s pressure was relentless and they did double the lead on 21 minutes through Erik Bakker. A one-two between Bakker and Hemmen placed the former into a lovely position in the box to time a first-time shot into Bizot’s goal.

The new boys were finding their groove and it was three on the stroke of half-time. Oebele Schokker crossed an inswinging corner and defender Ramon Leeuwin rose above everyone to power a header home. Groningen was sinking fast and would have been glad to hear the half-time whistle.

The away side emerged for the second-half knowing that they needed an early goal if they had any chance out getting back into the game and they scored five minutes after the restart. Michael de Leeuw, who had replaced the injured David Texeira midway through the first-half, scoring the goal. Nick van der Velden created some space down the right and swung in a cross for De Leeuw to smash a header past Leonard Nienhuis.

Groningen failed to score any more and Cambuur fourth killed off any chance of a comeback on 69 minutes. A lovely combination move by the hosts, which was finished by a low drive from Wout Droste from the right of the penalty area.

A huge win for Cambuur, finally getting some points on the board but as for Groningen, it was a terrible display. The game highlighting many problems for the team, and coach Erwin van de Looi will tend to these before next week’s travel to Deventer to play Go Ahead Eagles.

RKC Waalwijk - AZ


AZ Alkmaar travelled to Waalwijk and beat RKC 2-1 with Maarten Martens scoring the late winner just seconds after Jean-David Beauguel had equalised for the hosts.

AZ took a fourth-minute lead through American striker Aron Jóhannsson. After Nemanja Gudelj was trying to force his way into the box, the ball fell to the unmarked Jóhannsson to dink the ball over the onrushing Czech goalkeeper Jan Šeda.

RKC kept their composure and pressed for an equaliser with caution, and had to wait until seven minutes remaining to draw level.

French striker Beauguel had only been on the pitch for a matter of minutes replacing defender Ingo van Weert. Rushing onto a long ball from the counter-attack, the tall striker powered his way past defender Nick Viergever to chip goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado to send the crowd into raptures.

The crowd quickly calmed down a minute later when Gudelj crossed deep from the right to meet the volleying right foot of Martens to take home the points. A crushing blow for Erwin Koeman’s side.

NEC - PEC Zwolle


The pressure is on for NEC coach Alex Pastoor, his team is propping up the league without a point and victims of a crushing 5-1 defeat to highflying PEC Zwolle.

Zwolle’s Jesper Drost scored after 12 seconds last weekend, making his goal the fastest ever in Eredivisie history. However, Drost must have thought his record had been smashed right in front of his eyes when NEC’s Victor Pálsson drove the ball home after just ten seconds on the clock, but English striker Michael Higdon was penalised for a foul a second earlier.

Drost was on the scoresheet again putting Zwolle in the lead on 15 minutes. His first shot was saved by Karl-Johan Johnsson, but he headed the rebound home.

The pair of Youness Mokhtar and Kamohelo Mokotjo once again ran the show for Zwolle and the two combined three minutes later to make it 2-0. The Moroccan midfielder Mokhtar weaved his way in and out of the NEC defence before laying onto the South African Mokotjo for his second goal of the campaign. The Nimigen crowd were not happy and boos rang out of the Goffertstadion.

The pain continued for Pastoor’s side before half-time with striker Fred Benson, lively throughout, grabbing his first goal of the day on 37 minutes. Once again, the tricky Mokhtar taking on defenders then whipped a ball for Benson to head home at the front post, to send the away side into the break three goals to the good.

Two more goals were added early in the second period. Surging down the wing, left-back Maikel van der Werff continued into the area and laid it on a plate for Benson to tap home for his second on 49 minutes. As Benson danced to celebrate, a small percentage of the NEC fans were seen leaving the stadium in disgust.

More boos rang out just three minutes later as Zwolle scored their fifth and final goal. Some good work from Mokotjo set-up Mokhtar to fire home to score a goal that he had well deserved.

NEC’s only consolation came from Christoph Hemlein’s 76th-minute strike which was met with sarcastic applause from the home fans. They had a perfect chance to score a second after Hemlein was fouled in the area by Zwolle ‘keeper Kevin Begios, but Higdon hit a poor penalty that was easily saved by the goalkeeper. It has been a poor start to the season from the English striker and he may be in danger of being dropped if his action in front of goal does not improve.

The Nijmegen side are in major trouble failing to grab any points in three outings and conceding five goals in two consecutive games. The pressure is indeed on for Alex Pastoor and they must look for victory at home to RKC next weekend, if he is still in charge by then, after most of the fans are calling for his resignation.

Zwolle on the other hand maintain an 100% record with three wins in three and they look stronger and stronger as the games go on, they host newly promoted Cambuur next Saturday night.

Roda JC Kerkrade - Vitesse


Two goals in seven minutes settled a 1-1 draw between Roda and Vitesse. Highly-rated Brazilian playmaker Lucas Piazón, on-loan from Chelsea, made his first start and impressed. His skill nearly produced the first goal on six minutes, he slalomed through three Roda defenders but Vitesse failed to capitalise on the Brazilian’s good work.

We had to wait until 62 minutes to get our first goal. Valeri Kazaishvili putting the visitors ahead after another Chelsea loanee, Patrick van Aanholt has pressed his way down the left-wing. The lef-back continued into the area to lay the ball off to the Georgian to finish high into the goal superbly.

Seven minutes the game was tied through some great reactions from Roda striker Marc Höcher. After captain Mark-Jan Fledderus had seen his shot crash off the crossbar, the alert Höcher fired the ball back across the goal to send the ball home into an empty net.









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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Saturday 10th August 2013


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


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


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


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.



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.










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PSV win 5-0 on aggregate

It’s mission accomplished for PSV Eindhoven as they defeated Belguim’s SV Zulte-Waregem 5-0 on aggregate. They now await Friday’s Champions League playoff draw to see who stands in their way of a place in the group stages of the competition. It will be no easy task as the Eindhoven club will have to deal with either Arsenal, Lyon, AC Milan, Schalke or Zenit St. Petersburg if they are to reach groups.

Zulte Waregem - PSV

Throughout the first-half, as excepted, looking to reduce their 2-0 deficit, the Belgians were on the attack but PSV held strong and kept another clean sheet.

In fifteenth minute, Philip Cocu’s side had a glorious chance to take the lead. Slovenian striker Tim Matavz, in a good position, tried to round goalkeeper Sammy Bossut and the ball dropped perfectly for Memphis Depay but he dragged the effort wide with the goal gaping.

Matavz, who had a terrible night in front of goal in the first leg, had his own chance to put PSV in the lead, but like last week, fluffed at the opportunity. With the ball played through by Depay, the Slovenian was through on goal with the onrushing Bossut trying to close him down. With time, the striker blasted the shot straight at the keeper’s chest much to the delight of the home supporters.

The teams went down the tunnel for half-time, goal-less but ten minutes into the second-half the game finally started to come together for the Eindhoven side.

Bossut again did well to thwart Depay early in the second period after he was played through by central midfielder Stijn Schaars, but the keeper was finally beaten on 56 minutes.

A scramble occurred inside the penalty area and Depay fired a shot at goal, and with the Bossut stranded out of the goal, Zulte’s Steve Colpaert saved on the line with his hand. German referee Felix Zwayer pointed to the spot and gave the defender his marching orders with a straight red. Matavz slotted the penalty home to give PSV the lead and with Zulte needing four goals with only ten-men on the pitch, the Belgians were heading out of the tournament. The goal was PSV’s 200th in the Champions Cup and their first goal in Belgium after four previous outings without scoring.

The lead was doubled with a beautiful goal from 17-year-old Zakaria Bakkali. The lively Depay whipped in a cross from the left to the back post where the Belgian winger was arriving and volleyed the ball home giving Bossut no chance of saving. The technique was sublime to keep the ball down with such power to make it 2-0.

The final nail was slammed into the Zulte coffin in the dying seconds, when the Dutch side went three up. Adam Maher broke free from his marker and Bruno Godeau aiming the tackle the attacking midfielder ended up sending the ball past his own keeper.

Five goals to nil on aggregate but it will not be this easy in the next round, the youngsters of Eindhoven will have to work hard to clinch that Champions’ League group spot.



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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Saturday 3rd August 2013


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.


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.


NEC - 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.


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 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.




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A look at PSV’s Karim Rekik

There are rumours of Manchester City being interested in signing a centre-back (Pepe to be precise) as Joleon Lescott seeks more playing time before the World Cup which may not be possible at City due to the meteoric emergence of Mataja Nastasic. But there’s one player who may well compete for the starting spot in the central defence in the upcoming years, Karim Rekik. Rekik is well known in the youth circuit and is rated as one of the most promising player from City.


Karim Rekik,18, (Left Foot) plays for the Netherlands youth and is of Tunisian descent. Rekik spent 9 years at the Feyenoord academy before moving to Manchester at a very young age. He made his City debut at the age of 16 when he came on from the bench as a substitute for Wayne Bridge against Birmingham City in a League Cup tie. He was latter loaned to Portsmouth where he was a regular player on the team list having started 8 matches, usually occupying the Left back position for the
Pompeys. The next loan spell to Blackburn was a frustrating one as he started in only 4 matches and
being named on the bench in 8 matches. He made his Premier League debut in December when he started against Reading in a 1-0 victory, again occupying the Left back spot. Currently he is at PSV Eindhoven on loan and produced a match winning performance against Fenerbahce in 2-0 in the recent friendly, starting at his natural centre-back position. Rekik is a regular member for the Netherlands Youth national team. Infact, Rekik captains the Netherlands U19 squad. He had to withdraw from the U19 Euros because of his loan spell at PSV.

Scout Report

In his own words,Rekik’s natural position is centre-back but he can cover up the left-back spot whenever needed. Rekik has been/is the captain of Feyenoord youth, City reserves and the Netherlands youth national team. Despite his young age, he has already acquired some handy experience. Standing 6 foot 1 inch tall, Rekik uses his height to good use. He is very strong in the air and we can expect some power headers from him in set piece situations. Being robust, he is very difficult to push off the ball. Rekik is extremely confident possession and he showed his rich variety of passes in the recent friendly against Fenerbahce. He can read the game very well and has brilliant anticipation and intercepting skills to handle any Strikers next move. Rekik is well composed in any situations but at the same time does not shy away from sliding in a tackle. He is always there to challenge for ground or aerial 50/50 and his leadership qualities can be seen in the way he conducts himself on the pitch. He positions himself well and it won’t be surprising to see him in the City squad by next season itself. Rekik is the only left footed centre-back at PSV and with the highly rated Jetro Willems at left-back, Rekik will get to play at his preferred position more often.

The loan spell at PSV is a very good platform for Rekik to announce himself and to gain more  experience from playing at the top level. There’s no doubt Rekik will come out as a more developed player at the end of this loan spell. Rekik said he wants to represent Netherlands at the 2014 World Cup, It maybe a too high target to achieve in such less time but no denying this young lad will be the first choice centre back for Netherlands and City very soon.


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Strootman excited by Roma challenge

Kevin Strootman is relishing the chance to have a crack at Serie A after joining Roma from PSV Eindhoven. The Holland midfielder has signed a five-year-deal with the Giallorossi after the two clubs agreed a fee reported to be  €20million.

Strootman wrote on his personal website: ”I am very excited to be able to play for this great club. ”It is the next stage in my career development after being at Sparta, FC Utrecht and PSV, a club at which I had a lot of fun.

The 23-year-old admitted that he had sought the advice of PSV teammate and former Milan midfielder, Mark Van Bommel before opting to move to Italy.

Strootman told De Telegraaf: ”He was the man with experience of Italy. ”Mark said how great the passion of the fans was, how special the atmoshpere in the stadiums was and and how there was a totally different football culture.

”What counts for me is the number if big games I am going to play here. ”I will train everyday with top players and get to play with the likes of Inter, Juventus and Napoli.”