Eredivisie Round 20 Results: Vitesse defeat Ajax and PSV hammer Heracles
Twente dropped to second place as they drew 0-0 with Feyenoord and NAC climb up to 13th place with a 4-0 win over RKC
By Peter McVitie
VVV 1-4 AZ
AZ made it two 4-1 wins in a row as they defeated second-bottom team VVV on Friday night.
Adam Maher opened the scoring after 27 minutes, recovering from his poor first touch to beat two defenders and tap past Niki Maenpaa.
The scoreline was levelled early in the second period as Uche Nwofor brought down a long ball and blasted it into the AZ goal.
The Alkmaar club regained their lead just three minutes later through Donny Gorter’s penalty which was awarded after a Nils Roseler shove in the box.
Last week’s hat-trick hero Jozy Altidore got on the scoresheet shortly afterwards when he slotted Viktor Elm’s high through pass into the bottom corner. Two minutes later, Etienne Reijnen made it 4-1 when he knocked in the rebound from close range after Maher was denied by Maenpaa.
ZWOLLE 1-1 HEERENVEEN
Zwolle came from behind to earn a point as they drew 1-1 with Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen.
Both sides passed up opportunities to open the scoring early on with Fred Benson missing from close range and Filip Djuricic failing to hit the net shortly afterwards.
Alfred Finnbogason almost capped off some great work with a goal midway through the first-half, but he could only find the side-netting.
Finnbogason scored the game’s first goal a minute into the second-half as he pounced on Zwolle defender Bram van Polen’s poor first touch in the box and put it past Diederik Boer.
Denni Avdic rescued a point for the blue and white hoops with a late header from Joey van den Berg’s cross. The midfielder almost put his side in the lead in stoppage time with a shot from distance but Kristoffer Nordfeldt kept it out.
RKC 0-4 NAC
NAC boosted their chances of survival in the Eredivisie as they thrashed RKC 4-0, with all goals coming in the second-half.
RKC came close to taking an early lead as Teddy Chevalier’s shot across goal bounced off of Sepp de Roover and flew towards goal but the defender was saved by the post. Kees Luijckx had a chance at the other end after 15 minutes with a header from a corner which struck the bar.
Danny Verbeek put the visitors ahead 10 minutes after the restart, cutting in from the left and firing past Jeroen Zoet from the edge of the area. Two minutes later, Jordy Buijs doubled NAC’s lead as he ran onto Nemanja Gudelj’s square pass and smashed it into the bottom corner with his first touch.
Anthony Lurling set up NAC’s third goal with a fine pass to Alex Schalk who slipped in behind the defence and tucked it in. Eric Botteghin rounded things off with a header from a corner in the dying seconds of the game.
ADO 2-2 RODA
Mark-Jan Fledderus’ late strike saved a point for Roda as they shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw with ADO.
The hosts went a goal to the good inside the first 15 minutes through Mike van Duinen who ran onto a Jens Toornstra pass and lifted it over Filip Kurto.
Roda equalised on the stroke of half time as Roly Bonevacia sent a corner into the box which was headed towards goal by Danilo. The effort looked an easy one for Gino Coutinho to deal with until Mikolaj Lebedynski diverted it past the goalkeeper from close range.
The away side went down to 10 men early in the second-half when Sanharib Malk’s foot touched that of Mike van Duinen and the referee said the Roda star had kicked his opponent and showed him a red card.
ADO eventually capitalised on their numerical advantage, taking the led through a Danny Holla penalty. But 10 minutes later, ADO defender Vito Wormgoor was dismissed for a foul in the box and Mark-Jan Fledderus buried the rebound after his penalty was saved by Coutinho.
HERACLES 1-5 PSV
Dick Advocaat’s PSV recovered from last week’s shock defeat by Zwolle with a 5-1 hammering of Heracles.
The opener eventually came after 23 minutes when Tim Matavz brought down Kevin Strootman’s fantastic long pass and fired home.
Dries Mertens put Jeremain Lens through on goal with a delightful through ball and the forward made no mistake in beating Pasveer.
Heracles pulled a goal back 15 minutes after half-time as Marcelo’s poor clearance fell perfectly for Everton who volleyed into the top corner.
There was a hint of handball in PSV’s third goal of the game when Georginio Wijnaldum appeared to have used his hand to knock the ball passed the encroaching Remko Pasveer before slotting in from a tight angle.
Mertens extended his side’s lead with a mazy run past two defenders and then finished after combining with Wijnaldum, moments before the latter made it 5-1, heading home the rebound after Lens was kept out by Pasveer.
VITESSE 3-2 AJAX
Vitesse turned around a two goal deficit to beat reigning Eredivisie champions Ajax 3-2 on Sunday.
Frank de Boer’s side started the game brighter than the hosts and created the first goalscoring opportunity 13 minutes in when Niklas Moisander charged forward and put Siem de Jong through on goal but Piet Velthuizen denied the Ajax skipper.
The Amsterdam outfit took the lead after 33 minutes when a Guram Kashia deflection diverted Lasse Schone's long-range effort passed Velthuizen.
Christian Eriksen was lucky to get on the scoresheet as Christian Poulsen met Patrick van Aanholt's poor headed clearance with a sublime shot from outside the box which flew in off of Eriksen’s head and into the bottom corner.
Theo Janssen halved the deficit after 68 minutes with a chip over Kenneth Vermeer after running onto Kashia's long ball.
Then Van Aanholt made up for his earlier mistake when he capitalised on some poor Ajax defending and tucked it in under Vermeer two minutes before Marco van Ginkel set Renato Ibarra up perfectly to make it 3-2 to Fred Rutten’s men.
FEYENOORD 0-0 TWENTE
Steve McClaren’s Twente left Rotterdam with a point after their goalless draw with Feyenoord.
Feyenoord were the better team throughout the match and it was their star player Graziano Pelle who had the first chance when he combined with Anass Achahbar but the Italian forward’s shot was wide of the mark.
Feyenoord came close once again as Lex Immers met a corner with a side-footed effort which Nikolay Mihaylov saved on the line and then Jean-Paul Boetius saw an effort sail just wide.
Twente first threatened after 65 minutes when Dusan Tadic gathered the ball on the left flank and charged towards goal. The Serbian forward unleashed a shot which was kept out by Erwin Mulder and Wout Brama was there to meet the rebound but he missed the target.
The best chance of the game fell to Leroy Fer when a corner was sent into the Feyenoord box. The young midfielder volleyed from close range but Jordy Clasie was there to head it off the line and clear the danger.
UTRECHT 3-1 WILLEM II
Utrecht gained ground on the leading pack as they picked up three points with a comfortable victory over Willem II.
Alexander Gerndt whipped the ball towards the back post and Edouard Duplan cut back to Anouar Kali who slammed the hosts into the lead.
Gerndt and Duplan were involved once again when the former crossed into the box and the latter stole it from the defender and put it past Willem II goalkeeper David Meul.
Some awful defending led to Utrecht’s third goal as Bob Schepers was found all alone in the box and tapped Gerndt’s low cross into the net with ease after 89 minutes. And just two minutes later, Robbie Haemhouts scored a consolation for Willem II.
NEC 2-1 GRONINGEN
Alex Pastoor’s NEC came out on top against Groningen as they beat Robert Maaskant’s side 2-1 in the Goffert Stadion.
NEC started the game well and broke the deadlock inside the first 10 minutes with Rens van Eijden’s header from a Nick van der Velden free-kick.
The Nijmegen side continued to dominate possession for a period after the goal but Groningen gradually came back into the game although they rarely threatened.
Maaskant’s side saw more of the ball after the break and almost equalised when Virgil van Dijk’s header grazed the post and later, NEC goalkeeper Khalid Sinouh scrambled to keep Genero Zeefuik out.
Lorenzo Burnet levelled things up with a shot from distance which sailed past Sinouh with the help of a deflection off of Ryan Koolwijk.
The equaliser shocked the home side into life and they increased the pressure as they went in search of the winning goal and it came with 10 minutes left on the clock when Soren Rieks tapped passed Bizot to secure the three points for his side.
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