Eredivisie Round 18 Results: Ajax lose ground on PSV and Twente
Vitesse slip to fifth after they suffered a 2-1 defeat to Heerenveen, while VVV surrendered a two-goal lead to lose 4-2 to Roda
By Peter McVitie
AZ 0-3 TWENTE
Twente ensured they stayed in the top two over the winter break as they beat AZ 3-0 in the final round of 2012.
Nacer Chadli opened the scoring two minutes into the second period, with a strike from 25 yards that left AZ goalkeeper Esteban helpless as it flew into the bottom corner.
Adam Maher had a chance to pull his side level with a volley on 64 minutes, but Sander Boschker caught it with ease.
Leroy Fer almost made it 2-0 but he could only watch as it struck the post and bounced into the goalkeeper’s arms. Twente’s lead was increased a minute later, however, when Luc Castaignos ran onto a Dusan Tadic pass and curled it past Esteban. Chadli killed the game off with a wonderful chip over the AZ goalkeeper from the edge of the area.
HEERENVEEN 2-1 VITESSE
Vitesse slipped further behind the leading pack as they lost 2-1 to Heerenveen to make it three games without a win for the Arnhem club.
Filip Djuricic and Gael Kakuta had the first opportunities for either side, with the former seeing his shot saved comfortably by Piet Velthuizen, before the Vitesse forward smacked the upright with a long-range effort.
Heerenveen enjoyed more chances with Rajiv Van La Parra and Djuricic being denied by Velthuizen again and Alfred Finnbogason hitting the post.
The first goal of the game came from Djuricic when he went on a fantastic run and chipped over the Vitesse goalkeeper.
Guram Kashia grabbed the equaliser when Marco van Ginkel headed across goal for the defender to nod home.
Heerenveen took the lead five minutes into the second-half courtesy of a Velthuizen blunder as he misjudged Finnbogason’s effort and failed to keep it out.
Marco van Basten’s men seemed more likely to grab the next goal as they looked to extend their lead, but they were unable to find the net again and the game finished 2-1.
ADO 2-0 NEC
A double from Jens Toornstra lifted ADO into eighth place and within a point of NEC as they beat the Nijmegen side 2-0.
ADO were the better team from the opening stages and looked to have taken the lead after just six minutes when Rydell Poepon put the ball in the net, but the referee gave a free kick the other way as the forward had used his hand.
Mike van Duinen came close to scoring as he burst down the right side and shot towards goal, but Gabor Babos did well to keep it out. The rebound bounced straight to Van Duinen but he sent it over.
NEC then found themselves down to 10 men as Kevin Conboy was sent off for a dangerous tackle.
Toornstra netted the first goal just after the half-hour mark as he brought down a Vito Wormgoor long ball inside the box and finished it comfortably. He later killed the game off with four minutes left as Aaron Meijers squared to him and the forward tapped it in.
HERACLES 1-1 ZWOLLE
Heracles will feel aggrieved not to have collected three points this weekend as they were the better team throughout their 1-1 draw with Zwolle.
Peter Bosz’s side attacked from the early stages of the game and took the lead after a quarter of an hour, when Samuel Armenteros ran onto Lerin Duarte’s through ball and fired it past Diederik Boer with his first touch.
The Almelo side were in the ascendancy after the goal as they continued to put pressure on their opponents, but it was Zwolle who scored next when a mix up inside the Heracles box ended with Youness Mokhtar firing home after 27 minutes.
Heracles’ dominance resumed after Zwolle’s equaliser, but the visitors were still able to threaten as Rochdi Achenteh came very close to finding the net on one occasion.
Neither side were able to beat their opponents’ goalkeeper though and the game ended all square.
NAC 1-6 PSV
PSV remain top of the Eredivisie as they thrashed NAC Breda 6-1 at the Rat Verlegh Stadion on Saturday night.
Dick Advocaat’s side went ahead after just 11 minutes when some poor defending from NAC was capitalised on by Jeremain Lens who put it in from close range.
Lens added a second just six minutes later when he was brought down inside the box and the referee awarded PSV a penalty. The spot-kick was saved by Jelle ten Rouwelaar, but Tim Matavz pounced on the rebound and squared to the Netherlands international who tapped it in.
Jordy Buijs pulled one back for NAC on 18 minutes with a marvellous strike from distance, but Georginio Wijnaldum made it 3-1 as he tapped in Kevin Strootman’s cross with ease, before Mathias Jorgensen slotted into an empty net for PSV’s fourth of the game.
Luciano Narsingh and Jurgen Locadia both got on the scoresheet in the second half to round off a fantastic performance from the Eindhoven side and end the year in style.
RKC 0-0 WILLEM II
Willem II remain bottom of the league after their stalemate with RKC on Sunday.
The Tilburg side fought hard against RKC, who stood 10 places above them before the match kicked off.
RKC found it very hard to break through the resilient Willem II defence and the hosts first real opportunity came early in the second-half, as the ball was knocked down to Teddy Chevalier who was denied by David Meul with a shot from the edge of the area. A few minutes later, the striker went on a surging run past two defenders before seeing his shot saved again.
Meul came to the rescue once more when he saved an effort from Ard van Peppen.
The game ended on a sour note as Teddy Chevalier was dismissed with his second yellow for diving outside the box in the dying minutes.
UTRECHT 0-0 AJAX
Ajax were left to rue their missed chances on Sunday as they lost ground on the league leaders with a goalless draw against Utrecht.
Frank de Boer’s side were on top for the entire first-half but were repeatedly denied by Robbin Ruiter. Derk Boerrigter had Ajax’s first opportunity when he broke through to go clear on goal, but Mike van der Hoorn did well to get back and challenge him while Ruiter blocked his shot.
Lasse Schone, Siem de Jong and Viktor Fischer all had clear chances in the opening period as they got in behind the Utrecht back line, but Ruiter came out on top each time as Ajax were left frustrated.
The home side got the second-half off to a bright start as they pushed forward, with Jacob Mulenga being supported by substitute Edouard Duplan, but they were kept out by Ajax stopper Kenneth Vermeer.
As the game wore on, Ajax regained their dominance and pushed forward continuously but could not find a way past Ruiter. who kept the score level with his magnificent performance.
FEYENOORD 2-1 GRONINGEN
Two goals from Graziano Pelle gave Feyenoord a 2-1 win over Groningen to ensure Ronald Koeman’s side remain in the title challenge heading into the winter break.
Groningen got the game off to a bright start but failed to create many chances throughout a first-half which was lacking in goalmouth action.
It was Feyenoord who took the lead when Jordy Clasie whipped a corner into the box and Pelle rose to meet it ahead of Luciano Da Silva’s fist, diverting it into the net.
Groningen pressed forward in search of the equaliser and it came from an unexpected source. Mitchell Schet’s cross was headed away from goal by Joris Mathijsen and it fell to Virgil van Dijk on the edge of the area and the 21-year-old centre-back blasted it into the bottom corner.
Shortly afterwards, Robert Maaskant’s side should have taken the lead when Schet sent the ball across the face of goal and Michael de Leeuw rushed towards the back post to meet it, but he completely missed the ball.
Groningen were made to pay for that miss when Feyenoord restored their lead with three minutes left on the clock. The visitors failed to clear a cross and Lex Immers did well to flick the ball over his head to Pelle who slammed it home.
VVV 2-4 RODA
VVV let slip a two-goal lead at their home ground as they lost 4-2 to Roda in a thrilling encounter.
Guus Joppen had the game’s first chance inside the opening three minutes as he went one-on-one with Filip Kurto, but the Roda goalkeeper denied the VVV right-back. Opportunities were few and far between from then on for most of the half as the battle was fought in midfield.
But VVV took the lead five minutes before the break as Bryan Linssen combined with Yuki Otsu and smashed it into the bottom corner from outside the box.
The Venlo side’s lead was doubled six minutes after the restart when Barry Maguire ran onto an Otsu through ball and tucked it away nicely.
Incredibly, Roda fought back immediately and would go on to score four goals within the next 15 minutes to reverse the deficit. Mikolaj Lebedynski halved VVV’s lead when the hosts failed to deal with a long ball and the Polish forward fired it into the net.
Three minutes later, Laurent Delorge received the ball on the right side and unleashed a shot with the outside of his boot, sending his low, curling effort in past Niki Maenpaa, before Mark-Jan Fledderus saw his spectacular shot from distance sail into the top corner.
With 25 minutes remaining, substitute Arnaud Sutchuin Djoum made it 4-2 to the away side moments after coming on.
Then, Otsu went through on goal and chipped over Filip Kurto, but Danilo kept the ball out with his hand, leaving the referee with no choice but to point to the spot and show the defender a red card. But VVV failed to capitalise on the numerical advantage as Ricky van Haaren missed the penalty and Roda managed to hold onto the lead for the rest of the half.
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