Eredivisie Wrap-Up: PSV last-gasp winner while remarkable Ajax score eight


Heerenveen win for first time since September

SC Heerenveen visited FC Twente on Saturday and, for the first time in eight matches, won. Not only did they win, but they did it in convincing fashion – 0-4. In the first half, Nemanja Mihajlovic’s cross was headed by Daniel Høegh for the first goal, although the goal could also be credited as an own goal. Michel Vlap – a great midfield prospect – launched Heerenveen into a 0-2 lead before the break, by lifting in a long shot from outside the box.

Real Madrid wonder-boy Martin Ødegaard curled a long shot into an open net in the second half, before substitute striker Henk Veerman scored before the full-time whistle to take the goal tally to an even four. With the convincing win, Heerenveen have risen from 10th to 8th. Twente have fallen into a relegation playoff spot, from 14th to 18th.

Feyenoord draw with VVV in major upset

On a somber night at De Kuip, Feyenoord Rotterdam failed to hold onto a lead against VVV-Venlo. Near the beginning of the match, the fans of both sides lit up the stadium in a showing of solidarity with Feyenoord goalkeeper Brad Jones, whose son died of Leukemia six years ago on the day. It was a fantastic moment to witness, and it certainly overshadows every other bit of football that occurred this weekend.

That being said, the match still had to be played regardless. Feyenoord were held goalless in the first half, but Nicolai Jørgensen scored a brilliant goal in the second half to give the home side the advantage. Feyenoord dominated but weren’t able to hold on as VVV’s Damian van Bruggen struck a fiery long shot that was deflected past Jones in the 86th minute. Questions must be asked of the Eredivisie champions at this point, as they’ve now dropped down to 7th in the table. VVV remain holding onto their position in 12th.

Ajax stun onlookers by putting 8 past NAC Breda

In one of the most lop-sided matches of the season, AFC Ajax visited a sold-out Rat Verlegh Stadion in Breda and stormed to an 0-8 win over NAC. An atrocious defensive performance by the home side allowed a talented Ajax side the space and freedom to create chances at will – by half time, they’d already scored five. Defender Matthijs de Ligt scored a header from a set-piece early on, before midfielder Donny van de Beek scored a brace by the 26th minute. Brazilian wonderkid David Neres slotted in an easy goal before a half hour had passed, and de Ligt got his brace after breaking behind the line on a free-kick before halftime.

Ajax, understandably, lowered the tempo during the second 45 minutes. Lasse Schøne scored a penalty in the 66th minute, and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored a header after being left completely unmarked, and van de Beek got his hat-trick in the 75th with a long shot. It was a fantastic performance for Ajax, who remain in second place, but it wasn’t the largest margin of victory in an Eredivisie away match (Sittardia 1-10 SC Enschede, 1960). NAC remain in 17th place after a horrible showing on Saturday.

Struggling Willem II comeback against Sparta

Sparta Rotterdam couldn’t hold onto their 2-goal lead against Willem II on Saturday in a battle between two relegation-fighting candidates. In the first half, Sparta’s 18-year-old midfielder Deroy Duarte scored a quick brace between the 23rd and 27th minutes. The first goal was a low-driven longshot that found the corner of the net, and his second was a well-taken high shot in the box. However, Duarte’s heroics wouldn’t guarantee a victory for the visitors.

After the break, Willem II’s Thom Haye scored a goal very similar to Duarte’s second – a curling shot from the top of the box. The home side continued to take the game in their own hands, and in the 57th minute veteran striker Bartholomew Ogbeche struck in a fantastic finish to equalize the score. The comeback sees Willem II rise from 16th to 15th, while Sparta drop from 13th to 14th.


Resilient ADO win against Heracles

Heracles Almelo began the match with a bang, but hosts ADO Den Haag prevailed for a great 4-1 win. Brandley Kuwas’ defence-unlocking pass led to a goal from Reuven Niemeijer within 10 minutes, but that would prove to be Heracles’ final goal. Before the half-hour mark, a goalmouth scramble ended with Melvyn Lorenzen scoring the equalizing goal.

With a quarter of an hour in the match remaining, Abdenasser El Khayati created space on the edge of the box and struck a deflected shot into the net to give the home side the lead. ADO grabbed another goal after a corner in the 83rd minute as Bjorn Johnsen struck a low shot to increase the margin of the lead. As Heracles committed men forward, Elson Hooi was allowed a 1v1 with the keeper and scored to wrap-up the match. Heracles and ADO switch positions as a result of the match, with ADO rising from 11th to 9th and Heracles doing just the opposite.

PSV get last-minute winner against PEC Zwolle

PEC Zwolle couldn’t stop the seemingly unstoppable PSV Eindhoven, although they were mere seconds away from doing just that. After holding the league-leaders to a goalless draw while threatening their goal with 19 shots, Zwolle conceded in the third minute of added time. Jürgen Locadia’s cross found the head of Luuk de Jong, whose header was saved by Diederik Boer. However, the ball fell near the corner of the goal and defender Nicolas Isimat-Mirin kicked it home to win the match for PSV.

PEC will certainly feel hard-done by the unfortunate result, and they’ve now dropped down from third to fourth. PSV are still high-flying above the rest of the league, with an 8-point gap remaining between them and second-place Ajax.

Utrecht down Excelsior

FC Utrecht beat Excelsior Rotterdam in a hard-fought match on Sunday. Early on, Utrecht striker Cyriel Dessers struck a shot past the ‘keeper, who’d come out to defend the ball. In the second half, Yassin Ayoub hit a superb longshot into the back of the net, which basically ended the visitors’ chances of getting three points. Later, veteran defender Willem Janssen scored a headed goal from a corner routine to increase the margin of victory even more.

Late on, Zakaria El Azzouzi scored a consolation goal for Excelsior, striking a low shot from the corner of the box. Nevertheless, the loss sees Excelsior drop from 7th to 11th, while Utrecht will be pleased to rise from 8th to 5th.

Groningen upset Vitesse

FC Groningen surprisingly came away from a match-up against Vitesse Arnhem with a 4-2 win. Around the half hour mark, Groningen’s Kasper Larsen scored an unfortunate own-goal, which gifted Vitesse the lead. Groningen levelled the match through another own-goal, this time a “barely believable” botched clearance by Fankaty Dabo. Tim Matavz’ penalty only two minutes later regained the lead for Vitesse, but it was downhill from then on for the away side.

Groningen’s Oussama Idrissi scored a left-footed goal after a cut-back by Yoëll van Nieff in the 65th minute, and Mimoun Mahi’s well-struck volley sent the home side into the lead. Finally, Mahi’s dribble and cross-goal pass gave Tom van Weert an easy chance to score – 4-2. Groningen rise from 15th to 13th, while Vitesse drop from 5th to 7th.

AZ barely escape Roda tie

AZ Alkmaar visited Roda JC expecting a victory, but nearly didn’t get the three points. The visitors dominated for the most part, but the breakthrough occurred in the 84th minute after Mats Seuntjens scored from a rebounded shot. It was a little close for comfort, but AZ rise to third after PEC failed to win against PSV. Roda still remain at the bottom of the league.

Player of the Week: Martin Ødegaard (HEE) – 1 goal, 2 key passes, 6/9 dribble completion.

Team of the Week: Ajax Amsterdam – 8-goals in victory over NAC Breda

Disappointment of the Week: NAC Breda – lose 0-8 at home against Ajax

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