• Friday, 7 May 2010

    Dutch play-off news

    The various play-offs in the Netherlands got underway this week.

    In the race for Europa League football, Roda and Heracles drew 1-1 while Utrecht will take a 3-1 lead into the return leg against Groningen. The second leg games are this Sunday.

    The promotion/relegation play-offs see eight sides trying to join De Graafschap - Eerste Divisie winners - in next season's Eredivisie. Willem II and Sparta are the current Eredivisie sides in there and Sparta went down 2-1 in the away leg against Helmond Sport. Willem II had better fortune, winning 2-1 at home to Eindhoven. Elsewhere, Excelsior beat Zwolle 1-0 and Cambuur Leeurwarden lost 2-0 to Go Ahead Eagles. Again, the return games are on Sunday.

    In the KNVB Beker - the Dutch Cup to you and me - Ajax held a 2-0 lead from the first leg in Amsterdam, and thrashed Feyenoord in the return 4-1 for a 6-1 aggregate win. The scoreboard had a beautifully symmetrical look to it, Luis Suarez and Siem de Jong - the latter of whom got both of the first leg goals - putting Ajax 2-0 ahead before Jon Dahl Tomasson got one back. De Jong added his second before Suarez completed the rout eight minutes from time.

    And now our Eredivisie team of the year and, given the way it panned out, it's no surprise that it largely revolves around two clubs. In a 4-3-3 stylee:

    Maarten Stekelenberg (Ajax); Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax), Douglas (Twente), Jan Vertoghen (Ajax), Ronnie Stam (Twente); Siem de Jong (Ajax), Demy de Zeeuw (Ajax), Kenneth Perez (Twente); Luis Suarez (Ajax), Bryan Ruiz (Twente), Miroslav Stoch (Twente).
    Honourable mentions: Kenneth Vorm (Utrecht), Marko Pantelic (Ajax), Jeremain Lens (AZ), Sandro Calabro (VVV Venlo), Balazs Dzsudzsak, Ola Toivonen, Ibrahim Afellay (all PSV), Ron Vlaar (Feyenoord). It's just that Ajax and Twente were far too good for you.

    No comments: