AZ Alkmaar traversed to visit Sparta Rotterdam on Friday looking to continue their superb Eredivisie record. Wout Weghorst had his penalty saved by Roy Kortsmit in the first half, but the keeper was adjudged to have left his line illegally. In quite a humorous moment, Weghorst had his re-taken penalty saved once again by Kortsmit! The striker made up for it in the 34th minute with a powerful strike directly from a corner routine. A second half counter-press was successful for the away side, as the ball fell to Alireza Jahanbakhsh to quickly lay it off for Weghorst’s second goal. Both teams performed well, but AZ that came away with three points comfortably thanks to Marco Bizot’s seven saves. AZ are perfect bar the opening week loss to PSV and Sparta linger in 12th with five points from five.
Heerenveen became the only remaining club with no loss on their record by the end of the weekend thanks to their 2-1 away win over Excelsior. Ryan Koolwijk’s long shot within 20 minutes certainly had Heerenveen boss Jurgen Streppel shaking in his boots – the captain guided the ball up into the net after a stray ball rolled towards the top of the box. Young loanee Martin Ødegaard propelled Heerenveen to a second half comeback; Arber Zeneli’s 50th minute goal brought things level while Marco Rojas came off the bench to score the winner twenty minutes later. It was the ingenious creativity of Ødegaard that made both goals possible, and for Heerenveen to rise to fourth in the table. Excelsior drop to thirteenth place on four points.
Rai Vloet’s two strikes in two minutes gifted NAC Breda their first win of the season, a victory over FC Groningen. It was clear from the beginning that Breda were willing to run at and challenge their opponents, but it wasn’t until the 58th minute that the seal was broken. On-loan full-back Angeliño unleashed Vloet on a counter-attack and the midfielder took a long shot past the outstretched arms of Sergio Padt. Thomas Agyepong’s amazing run finished with Vloet finding himself open once again, and once again ripping another shot into the net. Ruben Jenssen’s lofted ball found Mimoun Mahi behind the Breda defense with twenty minutes to play, but the striker’s volleyed goal wasn’t enough to garner any points on the day. Breda sit on four points from five while Groningen have five.
In a battle between two teams yet to register a point, Roda fell at the hands of a resurgent Willem II. The result was practically decided by the half hour mark – a 5th minute scramble in the box saw the ball fall to a grateful Etien Velikonja, who struck a volley past Hidde Jurjus. In the 23rd, Fran Sol was on the end of Pedro Chirivella’s through ball and slotted the ball home accordingly, 2-0. Eight minutes later, the two scorers combined for the third when Sol crossed a teasing ball across goal for Velikonja to tap in. Roda managed a goal before halftime, but Mikhail Rosheuvel’s counter-attack strike was no more than a consolation. Roda now languish at the bottom of the league with no points, but Willem II shall be enthused with their first victory of the young season.
It was a Youness Mokhtar brace that book-ended a rather intriguing match between PEC Zwolle and Heracles. The winger beat his man and the keeper in only the fourth minute to grant Zwolle a lead, one that lasted almost until the 80th minute. Jamiro Monteiro’s free-kick cannoned off the wall and into the net to tie up the score. However, it was Mokhtar who had the last laugh. The pacey and intelligent winger drifted past basically the entire Heracles defense to free himself up for a well-placed low shot to win the match. Zwolle have built upon a strong start to the season – 10 points already – but Heracles remain on five.
FC Twente managed their first point of the season in a shocking manner: beating the talented side of Utrecht 4-0! Tom Boere’s early chipped goal got Twente off and running, and Thomas Lam’s header from a corner made it 2-0 within twenty minutes. Twente’s front line talent was truly shown later in the half, when Boere put Luciano Slagveer through on goal, 3-0. They didn’t stop there though, as Oussama Assaidi’s second half strike brought the score to an even four. It was quite the capitulation for a team so highly thought of domestically, but good on Twente for proving their worth on a big stage.
Ajax dropped two points away against ADO Den Haag in a match the former should’ve easily won. Joel Veltman’s header from Hakim Ziyech’s corner gave the Amsterdammers a first half lead. The away side kept playing well, but couldn’t prevent Bjorn Johnsen from equalising in the second half. ADO finally look like the strong mid-table team you’d expect them to be, but Ajax need to begin finishing off these matches if they’re to ever catch Feyenoord. Luckily, the Rotterdam champions slipped up this weekend as well.
PSV downed the Dutch champions Feyenoord on Sunday in quite the enthralling fixture. Gaston Pereiro fired home a volley with less than two minutes having been played, which saw an understandably positive and excited reaction from PSV’s home supporters. Steven Berghuis was handed his second yellow card before halftime, which doomed Feyenoord to their first loss of the season. PSV now climb level with Feyenoord on twelve points at the top of the league. Could PSV rebound and take the lead?
Vitesse were held to a draw by an upbeat VVV-Venlo this weekend. Vitesse’s new striker signing Tim Matavz is proving to be one of the best summer deals; his strength and composure were on show with his 47th minute goal. The home side continued to largely control the match tempo, but VVV’s Clint Leemans converted a penalty in the 90th minute to draw level. Vitesse will be disappointed with this draw, but VVV have shown themselves to be no walkover in their first season back in the top flight.
Player of the Week: Youness Mokhtar – 2 goals, 4 shots on target, 4 key passes.
Result of the Week: PSV – 1-0 win over Feyenoord.
Disappointment of the Week: Utrecht – 4-0 loss to floundering Twente.