• Sunday, 15 August 2010

    PSV surge as Twente held again: Eredivisie reviews

    Ajax 4-2 Vitesse
    PSV 6-0 De Graafschap
    VVV Venlo 1-0 Heracles
    AZ 1-1 Groningen
    Twente 0-0 Heerenveen
    Excelsior 3-2 Feyenoord
    Utrecht 3-1 NAC
    Willem II 3-5 NEC
    ADO 1-3 Roda JC

    Twente were again held to a goalless draw in week two of the Dutch season. On the positive side, they've yet to concede in 180 minutes of football, but it's more than a little concerning that they've also drawn a blank at the business end. Whither Blaise N'Kufo? While the Tukkers blunder around looking for a goal, PSV have them in abundance. Ola Toivonen struck twice on the opening day and went one better as De Graafschap's brief tenure on top spot was brought to a spectacular end. The writing was on the wall as early as the fourth minute when De Graafschap were reduced to ten men, Purrell Frankel shown a straight red as he brought down Jeremain Lens in the box. As last man back, the red card was inevitable. The spot kick was confidently converted by Balázs Dzsudzsák. Twenty minutes later and Toivonen made it two, played in by a De Graafschap defender which made the complaints of the Super Farmers about Toivonen being offside a little on the lame side. Toivonen's second came within a minute of the restart, losing his marker with an intelligent run across the box to meet Ibrahim Afellay's corner and head it in at the near post and his hat-trick was completed ten minutes later, slotting in from 12 yards as the defence lost him yet again. A genuine hat-trick, right foot, left foot, head. Perfect. Not that PSV were done at 4-0. Nordin Amrabat turned defence into attack in the blinking of an eye, starting the move and finishing from the edge of the box with a low, driven shot and Afellay wrapped up an easy win with a couple of minutes to go, converting Dzsudzsák's cross at the back post.

    Ajax got to winning ways against a gutsy Vitesse side who were in front midway through the first half, Davy Propper getting in front of his marker to head in Jeroen Drost's cross. Without Luis Suarez, Ajax are struggling for goals from the forward line, and it was the defenders who got them back on track. Mounir El Hamdaoui was fouled on the edge of the box around the half hour and Demy de Zeeuw teed it up for Jan Vertonghen to blast it home. With five minutes of the first half remaining, Gregory van der Wiel, as he does so often, got up in support of the attack and was played in with a neat through ball before tucking the ball past the keeper and just inside the far post. Back came Vitesse who levelled it before the break, Ajax failing to clear and Marco van Ginkel lashing it past Maarten Stekelenburg for 2-2. Control was reasserted a couple of minutes after the restart, Siem de Jong sliding in to meet Florian Jozefzoon's cross and prod it home. Vurnon Anita made it safe with an early goal of the season contender, jinking past a couple of defenders, opening his body out and finishing from range with a looping shot that the keeper could only wave at as it went past him. AZ needed a late equaliser to snatch a point from Groningen for whom Tim Sparv scored to give them a 76th minute lead. AZ couldn't clear a corner and it fell to Sparv on the edge of the box. He flicked it up and volleyed it in from 20 yards. Maarten Martens got the equaliser with three minutes to go, finishing confidently after being left unmarked on the edge of the box and found by Brett Holman's cross.

    Feyenoord went down in the derby against Excelsior in a dramatic match. Excelsior capitalised on a bright start with a stunning strike from Guyon Fernandez on the half hour. An inch-perfect through ball from Kevin Wattamaleo set the pacy striker away and he finished with a curling effort beyond the reach of Erwin Mulder. Two goals from set pieces turned the game, Ron Vlaar bullying in a header for the equaliser and the unfortunate Daan Bovenberg getting the last touch to give Feyenoord the lead. Bovenberg responded brilliantly, equalising straight away for Excelsior, latching onto a looping through ball and prodding it in for the equaliser. That would have satisfied most home fans, but Fernandez popped up with almost the last kick of the game, shrugging off the attentions of Andre Bahia to snatch a dramatic winner. They are susceptible to set pieces, but Feyenoord's delivery was poor, but the artificial pitch at the tiny Verzekringen will weigh in their favour.

    Heracles, like De Graafschap, couldn't make it two from two as they came unstuck in Venlo. Just the one goal in this one, Ruud Boymans heading in in the 11th minute to upset the European hopefuls. NAC finished with nine men against Utrecht and, as you would expect, lost. Fresh from his Oranje debut in midweek, Ricky van Wolfswinkel slid in for the opener 13 minutes in, the ball taking a wicked deflection on it's way to goal. A horrid backpass allowed Matthew Amoah in for the equaliser, but the lead was restored a couple of minutes after the break, Dries Mertens with a surging run up the left and a quality finish across the goalkeeper. Jens Janse picked up a second booking in the 68th minute and Donny Gorter followed him down the tunnel ten minutes later for punching a goalward effort from Jacob Mulenga away. Van Wolfswinkel took the penalty and buried it. A frantic opening at Het Zuiderpark saw three goals in the opening 12 minutes. Frantisek Kubik had ADO in front in the third minute, albeit with a strong whiff of offside, but Roda JC were level inside five minutes, Mads Junker with a penalty. The keeper guessed right, but Junker's shot was simply too good and Laurent Delorge had Roda in front three minutes later. It looked like the Belgian had tripped over the ball, but he got just enough purchase on it to find the back of the net. The points were sealed twenty from time, Jimmy Hempte with a screamer from 30 yards. Goals galore at Tilburg too, where eight were shared between Willem II and NEC. Bjorn Vleminckx got a treble for the Nijmegeners as they twice came from behind to win a thriller. Juha Hakola had Willem II in front in the sixth minute, but Lasse Schone levelled it twelve minutes later with a good finish from 12 yards out. Franck Demouge headed Willem II back in front on the half hour from a corner. Vleminckx got his first from the penalty spot after a push was spotted ten minutes into the second half and his second quickly followed, a tap-in from about a foot out, getting the last touch on Schone's goal-bound shot. Classic poacher's behaviour. Bas Sibum volleyed a fourth for NEC before Andreas Lasnik pulled one back from the penalty spot. Vleminckx completed his hat-trick deep in stoppage time, latching on to a headed ball forward and rounding the keeper before side-footing home.

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