Feyenoord beat NEC 2-0 to stay in third place and it stays tight at the bottom as Roda, Zwolle and RKC all pick up victories
VITESSE 2-0 UTRECHT
Vitesse commemorated the death of club icon Theo Bos as they beat Utrecht 2-0 on Friday night to boost their title chances.
The match got off to a slow start as football was not the main priority in the early stages at the Gelredome. The game stopped once the clock showed four minutes had passed (Bos’s jersey number) and the players and fans applauded and chanted the name of the man nicknamed ‘Mister Vitesse’.
Once the game picked up, the home side began to dominate and it didn’t take long for them to take the lead. Renato Ibarra’s cross from the byline created a mix-up in the Utrecht box and Mike Havenaar was able to capitalise on the defensive uncertainty and fire in the opener.
It took 52 minutes for Utrecht to properly threaten Vitesse as Tommy Oar blasted towards goal from distance and it took a fantastic save from Piet Velthuizen to deny him.
Two minutes later, Wilfried Bony doubled Vitesse’s lead, latching onto a fantastic Ibarra long ball to go one-on-one with Robbin Ruiter. The Ivorian had plenty of time to set himself up for the shot and he made no mistake in sending it past the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner to make it 23 goals in 22 league appearances.
Utrecht looked for a way back into the game and came close through Jacob Mulenga and Mark van der Maarel but the visitors failed to put the ball in the net.
NAC 1-2 HEERENVEEN
Two late goals from Alfred Finnbogason gave Heerenveen the three points as they came from behind to beat NAC 2-1.
The first half was lacking in clear cut chances as each side created just one opportunity. Finnbogason picked the ball up in a dangerous area but he was kept out by NAC goalkeeper Jelle ten Rouwelaar. Then at the other end Elson Hooi ran onto a good pass from Jordy Buijs, beating Kristoffer Nordfeldt but was denied by the post.
Despite the slow and tame opening period, the second half got off to a great start as NAC took the lead just four minutes after the break. Nemanja Gudelj, son of NAC coach Nebojsa, fired past Nordfeldt with a spectacular hit from 25 yards for his third goal in five matches.
Later in the half, Finnbogason had a fantastic opportunity to level the score when his side were awarded a spot kick for a handball in the box, but Ten Rouwelaar read the striker well and saved the penalty.
Finnbogason recovered from his penalty miss, however, to net two goals in quick succession to steal the win for his side. First equalising with a shot from the far post which beat Nordfeldt, and then heading in a Jeffrey Gouweleeuw cross for the winner.
ZWOLLE 2-0 WILLEM II
Zwolle further enhanced their chances of survival as they beat bottom side Willem II and climbed up to 14th place.
It was a fairly even first 45 minutes and chances were scarce, but Zwolle made the difference in the second half with goals from Arsenio Valpoort and Mateusz Klich.
Valpoort opened the scoring 11 minutes into the second half when Denni Avdic knocked it on for the 20-year-old who tucked it past David Meul.
Zwolle’s second goal of the game came on the hour mark when Klich went one-on-one with Meul and buried it past the encroaching Willem II goalkeeper.
Willem II are now 10 games without a win in the Eredivisie, and currently sit eight points adrift of second bottom club VVV, while Zwolle remain one point above the relegation play-off places.
PSV 2-0 VVV
Dick Advocaat’s PSV maintained their lead at the top of the Eredivisie with a 2-0 win over VVV.
Despite taking an early lead PSV found it very difficult to create many chances against their opponents who remained very compact and disciplined.
The Eindhoven side opened the scoring after just three minutes when two teenagers, Jurgen Locadia and Memphis Depay, linked up with the former crossing to the latter who slotted home with ease at the far post.
Georginio Wijnaldum had two clear chances within five minutes of each other, twice getting on the end of perfectly timed and weighted Dries Mertens crosses and twice being denied by strong saves from VVV goalkeeper Niki Maenpaa.
PSV captain Mark van Bommel put the game beyond doubt in the final minute as he blasted a long range free kick straight past the wall, through the hands of Maenpaa and into the net.
TWENTE 0-2 AJAX
Ajax beat Twente 2-0 in Enschede to ensure they stayed within two points of league leaders PSV.
The hosts should have taken a two-minute lead when Toby Alderweireld failed to deal with a long throw, knocking it straight to Twente striker Dmitry Bulykin inside the box, but the centre-back recovered and cleared the danger.
Ajax centre-back Niklas Moisander made Twente rue their missed opportunity just two minutes later when he received a pass from Christian Eriksen and smashed it home from 30 yards.
After taking the lead Ajax dominated the game, putting Twente under immense pressure and retrieving the ball high up the park, however, they struggled to create goalscoring opportunities.
The visitors’ lead was doubled shortly before the break when Eriksen sent a long free kick into the box and it was the other centre-back, Alderweireld, who shook off his marker and rose to head it past Nikolay Mihaylov.
Substitute Luc Castaignos had Twente’s first real opportunity when Bulykin headed a long ball down to him. The former Inter striker stretched to get the shot away but Kenneth Vermeer dealt with it comfortably.
NEC 0-3 FEYENOORD
Feyenoord remain in contention for the Eredivisie title with their latest 3-0 victory over NEC.
The home side started brightly, putting Feyenoord under severe pressure high up the park and creating early goalscoring opportunities, the clearest of which fell to Victor Palsson whose shot from inside the box was saved by Erwin Mulder.
Ronald Koeman’s side gradually began to impose themselves on the match, and it was the visitors who broke the deadlock through 18-year-old Jean-Paul Boetius as he latched onto Tonny Vilhena’s pass and slotted it in.
Buoyed by the opening goal, Feyenoord increased the pressure on NEC and began to threaten more.
Graziano Pelle doubled the Rotterdam side’s lead just before the break when he met Ruben Schaken’s magnificent cross towards the far post and headed past goalkeeper Gabor Babos.
NEC looked to take control of the game again after the restart and had the better of chances in the second period with Nick van der Velden and Erik Falkenburg coming close.
But it was Feyenoord who hit the net once again when Pelle collected the ball and squared to Boetius outside the box, and the teenager made no mistake in smashing it into the bottom corner.
RODA 4-1 GRONINGEN
Roda picked up a much-needed three points as they hammered Groningen 4-1 on Sunday.
It took just 35 seconds for the first goal to be scored as Frank Demouge sent a beautiful chip over Groningen goalkeeper Marco Bizot and into the net.
David Texeira equalised just six minutes later, burying the rebound after Filip Kurto could only parry a shot straight into the path of the Groningen star.
Roda’s advantage was restored just before the half hour mark through Guus Hupperts as he rounded off a counter-attack with a nice finish.
Demouge made it 3-1 to the Kerkrade side before the break, slamming home after Martijn Monteyne had set him up.
Roda had killed the game off just three minutes into the second period when Mitchell Donald crossed to Sanharib Malki who diverted it in at the far post.
The hosts still occupy a relegation play-off spot but are now level on points with AZ, and one point behind Zwolle and RKC as the battle for survival heats up.
RKC 2-1 AZ
RKC brought an end to their eight-game winless streak on Sunday, beating struggling AZ 2-1 at the Mandemakers Stadion.
AZ started the game the brighter of the two sides, threatening from the early stages. Adam Maher sent Roy Beerens through on goal with a delightful pass but RKC goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet was quick off his line to block the shot.
Zoet came to the rescue shortly afterwards when Maher played a one-two with Jozy Altidore and burst into the box, but the goalkeeper read the danger and prevented the teenager from getting the shot away.
Despite AZ’s early opportunities it was RKC who took the lead when Mart Lieder latched onto a pass and beat a defender before firing past Esteban.
Jozy Altidore equalised for AZ after 69 minutes when he ran onto another fantastic Maher pass and lifted it over Zoet and into the net.
But shortly afterwards Robert Braber’s tame effort from outside the box fell to Florian Jozefzoon whose shot was blocked, but Lieder was there to head in the rebound to restore RKC’s lead and steal the three points.
ADO 3-1 HERACLES
Heracles dropped one place to 11thin the Eredivisie as they suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of ADO.
The hosts were the better team in the opening 15 minutes but Heracles began to create danger after imposing themselves on the match.
ADO goalkeeper Gino Coutinho made the first crucial stop as he kept out Heracles attacker Everton shortly before Remko Pasveer denied Tjaronn Chery to ensure the sides went in goalless at the break.
The opening goal came after 65 minutes when Mike van Duinen muscled right-back Milano Koenders off the ball after a long pass. The ADO star had plenty of time to line up his shot before he sent it curling round Pasveer.
Geoffrey Castillion equalised 12 minutes later, comfortably slotting past Coutinho, but Van Duinen put ADO ahead once again as he diverted Chery’s cross into the net.
With three minutes remaining Chery capped off the scoring after skipping past one defender and blasting it in to the bottom corner.