Welcome back to the weekly Eredivisie Roundup. Firstly, apologies to you readers for the tardiness of this article. As you may (or may not know), I’m engulfed in my business studies at university, and finals week was taking a toll on my ability to write for BFTGT. However, I’m off on break until late January, so expect some top quality Dutch football content on the site! Enjoy this week’s roundup.
Heerenveen back on track
A struggling SC Heerenveen got back on track Saturday against newly-promoted NAC Breda. The only goal of the event was in the second half – Breda winger Mounir El Allouchi made a crucial mistake by passing across his own box. Pelle van Amersfoort intercepted the stray pass and managed to squeeze a shot into the net despite pressure from defenders. Heerenveen played with confidence and constantly threatened the goal, which is all you can ask for.
Zwolle complete spectacular comeback against Willem II
Willem II weren’t quite able to hold on for a result against European place contenders PEC Zwolle, as the latter were able to come back from 2-0 down away. In the tenth minute, a botched clearance by Zwolle’s Erik Bakker gifted Spanish striker Fran Sol with an opportunity, which he finished gratefully. Later in the half, a rebounded shot fell in front of goal and Willem’s Ben Rienstra scored to double the home side’s lead.
Zwolle cut the lead in half just minutes before the halftime whistle, as Kingsley Ehizibue drew a penalty that was converted by Erik Bakker. The penalty scorer turned provider in the second half, as Bakker’s driven pass was deftly controlled by Mustafa Samyak in the box. The star midfielder made it look easy as he turned and scored with his left foot, equalizing the score. Zwolle completed the comeback in the 85th minute – Younes Namli cut inside from the right and had his shot saved, but Samyak was the man of the hour as he positioned himself well to tap in the rebound. Zwolle have proved they have what it takes to not only compete against the top teams, but also fight for points against low-table teams.
ADO prove no challenge for PSV
PSV Eindhoven regained their mojo after two successive matches with dropped points against a feisty ADO Den Haag. Luuk de Jong got back into goal scoring form early in the match – his brace came in a matter of two minutes, with the first being a casual finish in the fifth minute from a Santiago Arias cross. His second goal came after de Jong lost the ball in the box, but a clearance was put right onto the foot of de Jong and the ball cannoned haphazardly into the net. Quite a way for the Dutchman regain his goal scoring confidence! The third goal came in the 35th minute, as Steven Bergwijn was pushed in the box. Marco van Ginkel, as per usual, calmly finished the ensuing penalty.
All square in Enschede
Vitesse Arnhem failed to win against relegation-battling FC Twente on Saturday, but it was a crucial point for the seemingly rejuvenated home side. Youngster Fredrik Jensen scored a spectacular goal early in the match; the Twente midfielder received a pass from Oussama Assaidi in the box, spun around his marker, and finished low into the far corner. The lead would only last another 14 minutes, though, as Twente failed to clear a throw-in and Mason Mount pounced on the ball, firing in a powerful shot from the top of the box. Vitesse dominated possession, but the home side was able to hold tight and pick up a point.
VVV get sought-after win against Roda
Roda JC remain stuck in the relegation zone after a home loss to VVV-Venlo. The match was largely controlled by the visiting VVV, but the breakthrough goal didn’t come until the 76th minute. Young midfielder Clint Leemans picked up a cleared ball on the edge of the box, took a stride to his left, and struck a perfectly placed low shot into the bottom corner of the net. That’s all it took for VVV to pick up the away win, as well as for Leemans to pick up my award of Player of the Week.
Feyenoord roll over city rivals
Sparta Rotterdam faced an onslaught of goals from cross-town rivals Feyenoord, who will be pleased to get a confidence-boosting win. Sparta, who sacked their manager Alex Pastoor following the dreadful defeat, were no match for a rotated Feyenoord side. 18-year-old striker Dylan Vente tallied two assists and a goal, while wingers Steven Berghuis and Jean-Paul Boëtius combined for three assists and a goal themselves. Tonny Vilhena bagged himself a brace from midfield, while defenders Renato Tapia and Jerry St. Juste got a goal each. Substitute Bilal Basacikoglu scored late on to bring the score to an astounding 0-7.
Lucky Ajax claim three points against AZ
AZ Alkmaar gave league rivals AFC Ajax a good challenge, but the home side came up short in the end. Ajax’s young defender Deyovaisio Zeefuik handled the ball in the box in the first half, and the penalty was scored by Alireza Jahanbakhsh. AZ weren’t able to hold the lead until halftime, though – David Neres’ through ball allowed Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to finish 1v1 with the ‘keeper in the 43rd minute, bringing the scores level. In the second half, Huntelaar was adjudged to have been pushed in the box, and Lasse Schøne coolly converted the penalty to win the three points.
Heracles hold Utrecht to a draw
FC Utrecht conceded a late winner to mid-table Heracles Almelo to drop two points on Sunday. Utrecht went ahead in the first half on a set piece; Zakaria Labyad’s cross found an unmarked Yassin Ayoub, whose header easily struck the back of the net. Despite Utrecht’s relative dominance of the ball, Heracles were allowed a late chance to equalize. In added time in the second half, Brandley Kuwas’ cross rolled to substitute Paul Gladon. The striker curled a shot from the top of the box into the left of the net, silencing the stunned Utrecht fans.
Excelsior stun quickly dropping Groningen
Excelsior Rotterdam claimed three points against FC Groningen on Sunday, the latter of which has dropped down to 13th in the Eredivisie table. Excelsior defender Milan Massop scored an athletic header early in the match to get the home side off the mark, and despite owning possession Groningen struggled to create chances. The home side hit an over-committed Groningen on the counter late in the second half, and Stanley Elbers scored from Massop’s cross to ice the match and claim three points.
Player of the Week: Clint Leemans (VVV) – 1 goal, 4 shots on target, 41/52 (79%) passes
Match of the Week: Sparta 0-7 Feyenoord
Disappointment of the Week: Sparta Rotterdam – 0-7 drubbing defeat to rivals Feyenoord