Eredivisie Roundup: Zwolle flourish, Feyenoord & Heerenveen struggle

Eredivisie

Vrijdag

Excelsior come from behind against Twente

Twente couldn’t prevent a comeback from Excelsior in Friday’s Eredivisie match. The home side actually took the lead with only one minute played – youngster Fredrik Jensen found space behind the defense and passed to Tom Boere for an easy goal. Despite Twente’s dominance, Excelsior equalized before halftime Hicham Faik launched a magnificent curling free-kick into the corner of the net.

Faik sent a corner kick into the box in the 74th minute, where Milan Massop headed in the leading goal. Massop’s fellow full-back Khalid Karami put the match out of reach six minutes later when he struck a great shot in the box. Twente drop from 12th to 13th with the loss and Excelsior climb into 7th place and a European spot.


Zaterdag

Bottom-dwellers Roda stun Feyenoord

Roda JC, currently bottom of the Eredivisie, managed to hold on for a draw against champions Feyenoord this weekend. All seemed to be going to plan for the visiting Feyenoord when, in the 11th minute, Steven Berghuis cut inside on his left foot and scored from an all-to-familiar long shot. However, six minutes later, Roda’s Simon Gustafson linked up perfectly with Dani Schahin, putting the striker in on goal with a well-timed through-ball, and Schahin finished low to tie the game up at 1-1.

Feyenoord, as expected, dominated the rest of the match. However, they couldn’t find a goal despite 32 shots and 10 on target. Feyenoord continue to struggle in 6th and, despite the good result, Roda remain bottom of the league.


Heracles find no trouble against VVV

Heracles Almelo ran out 3-0 winners against newly-promoted VVV-Venlo on Saturday. VVV ‘keeper Lars Unnerstall could be blamed for all three goals, and his side will feel hard done by the final score. In the 36th minute, Brandley Kuwas found space on the left side of the box and, noticing Unnerstall’s bad positioning, scored at the near post. Heracles’ Kristoffer Peterson managed to slip a shot between the legs of Unnerstall. The German goalkeeper’s nightmare was capped off in the second half when he spilled Kuwas’ long shot and the rebound found Peterson wide-open, 3-0.

With the win, Heracles jump all the way from 14th to 11th, overtaking VVV in the process. The losers on the day have dropped from 10th to 12th, but shouldn’t be too concerned with the performance.


Zwolle continue great season with ADO victory

ADO Den Haag couldn’t stop the steamroller that is PEC Zwolle – the sole club besides PSV with only one loss. In the seventh minute, a miscued interception left Zwolle’s Piotr Parzyszek in loads of space and he finished with a well-struck shot. ADO could barely react before Zwolle were on the front foot again; Younes Namli dribbled into space in the eleventh minute before launching a bouncing longshot that found its way into the net.

ADO had absolutely no reply to this onslaught, indicated by the visitors tallying 0 shots on target throughout the entire match. PEC are flying high in third place thanks to a slip-up above them, but ADO drop from 8th to 10th.


Ajax win tough match-up in Tilburg

Willem II were hopeful of a win, but AFC Ajax came back to claim three points. After a dull first half, Lasse Schøne conceded a penalty which was dispatched by Etien Velikonja in the 55th minute. Schøne made up for the mistake 15 minutes later by scoring a phenomenal long shot equalizer. In the 79th minute, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s cross-box pass found a trailing Siem de Jong, whose strike gifted Ajax the lead.

In added time, David Neres scored from a rebound to expand the lead before full-time. Ajax remain in second place, five points behind PSV, and Willem drop from 15th to 16th.


Zondag

PSV unstoppable against Vitesse

League leaders PSV Eindhoven are incredible at the moment and continued to flourish in Arnhem on Sunday against Vitesse. Mexican sensation Hirving Lozano got off the mark within 20 minutes with a great, low goal. PSV’s victory looked in doubt before halftime when a corner unfortunately deflected off of Jürgen Locadia for an own-goal. The Dutch striker made up for it after the break with an incredible long shot to regain the lead.

He did it again in the 56th minute, with a superb dribble and curled shot, 1-3. Finally, in the 59th minute, Lozano got his brace with a finish from close range. Minutes later, Vitesse’s Mason Mount scored a beautiful volley, but it was too little too late for the home side. PSV remain top of the league while Vitesse drop from third to fifth.


NAC hold on for away draw in Utrecht

Utrecht’s up-and-down form continued Sunday against newly-promoted NAC Breda. Utrecht managed to take the lead in 19 minutes on a corner, when defender Willem Janssen hit a poorly-defended ball into the net. It took only three minutes for NAC to equalize though – Thierry Ambrose laid off a pass to Mounir El Allouchi for a great finish.

Right after the break, Giovanni Korte poked a cross from Ambrose at Utrecht ‘keeper David Jensen, who couldn’t prevent the ball from crossing the line. Utrecht couldn’t find an equalizer until the 79th minute, when Zakaria Labyad led a counter-attack that ended with Nick Venema scoring a rebound. NAC nearly scored a winner in added time, but a deflection ended up careening off the post. Utrecht rise from 9th to 8th while NAC drop to 17th.


Groningen continue struggle against Sparta

Sparta Rotterdam were able to capitalize off of Groningen’s poor form to claim a crucial victory. Robert Muhren stabbed in a goal from a rebound in the 22nd minute for Sparta, but the lead lasted only 14 minutes. Groningen’s 17-year-old Ludovit Reis scored a fantastic goal after an interception before running over to celebrate with manager Ernest Faber. The Groningen manager’s happiness wouldn’t last for long, though – Loris Brogno scored a penalty before halftime that proved to be the winner.

Sparta managed to hold on despite a sending off late in added time, which means they climb out of the relegation playoff zone to 15th. Groningen have some real problems and are now 14th in the league.


AZ win thrilling match against Heerenveen

In one of the more exciting match-ups of the weekend, AZ managed to come out on top. Heerenveen youngsters Martin Ødegaard and Michel Vlap linked up in the first half for a wonderful goal and the home crowd went wild. AZ certainly left it late – Guus Til’s equalizer was converted in the 73rd minute. Finally, in the 90th minute, Alireza Jahanbakhsh crossed low and found Til who, once again, converted from close range. 1-2, Alkmaar.

AZ rise from 6th to 4th with the victory. On the other hand, Heerenveen have now dropped to 9th – outside the European playoff spots.


Player of the Week: Hirving Lozano (PSV) – 2 goals, 1 assist, 2 key passes

Result of the Week: Excelsior – 3-1 away win over Twente

Disappointment of the Week: Feyenoord – 1-1 away draw against Roda JC