Heerenveen Beat Persistent Twente After Spot Kicks To Win KNVB Beker

Attacking midfielder Youssouf Hersi scored a late equalizer to send the game into penalty kicks, but the pint sized playmaker went from hero to zero within minutes…
Heerenveen 2-2 Twente (7-6 after p.k.)

Twente started the match with attacking intentions and got their first chance of the game after only five minutes. Tricky winger Eljero Elia opted to test the Heerenveen goalie, but Hans Vonk wasn’t trouble too much by his tame effort.

Heerenveen’s first chance of the game fell to Swedish midfielder Viktor Elm, but he aimed his shot wide and the chance went begging.

Twente were struck by injury twice and both defender Peter Wisgerhof and young attacker Marko Arnautovic had to be replaced within the first 20 minutes.

The Friezen took over the initiative and Christian Grindheim came close to opening the score after about twenty minutes. Nevertheless, the midfielder’s powerful attempt rattled the crossbar.

Heerenveen got their deserved lead around the half hour mark via Macedonian defender Goran Popov. Star player Danijel Pranjic reached Popov inside the area with an excellent cross. Popov had no trouble finding the net from close range to give his side the lead.

Trond Sollied’s men kept on dominating the match and Roy Beerens, Pranjic and Christian Grindheim all got a chance to double Heerenveen’s lead. Neither of the three were able to get a shot on target though and the score remained 1-0.

Twente could have levelled the score five minutes before the half time whistle. Theo Janssen stepped up for a free kick, but Hans Vonk pulled off a superb save to deny the creative midfielder. The Heerenveen goalie also saved Kenneth Perez’s effort only seconds later.

The Enschede side started the second half the better of the two and substitute Romano Denneboom should have equalized after 48 minutes. Nevertheless, the attacker tripped over the ball and squandered the chance.

Youngster Elia had more luck about five minutes later. The Heerenveen goalie failed to clear the ball into safety and Elia picked up the loose ball before unleashing a powerful shot that left Vonk with no chance in the 54th minute.

Danish playmaker Kenneth Perez almost gave Twente the lead, but the former Ajax player was unlucky to see his shot smack the post before being cleared into safety.

Right winger Roy Beerens could have restored his side’s lead halfway the second half, but he failed to add his name to the score sheet due to Sander Boschker’s save.

Experienced attacker Bonaventure Kalou scored go ahead goal in the second half of extra-time when he beat the Twente shot stopper with a shot that deflected off the legs of Twente defender Douglas.

Nevertheless, Steve McClaren’s men once again fought back and substitute Youssouf Hersi levelled both sides two minutes before the final whistle with a well placed header from close range.

Spot kicks had to decide the winner and Hersi went from hero to zero when he was the only one who failed to convert his penalty kick. Gerald Sibon controlled his nerves before he fired home to help his side to their first major trophy in history.

Heerenveen: Vonk; Breuer, Bak Nielsen, Dingsdag, Popov; Grindheim (Kalou/74), Svec (Roorda/78), V. Elm; Beerens (Paulo Henrique/87), Sibon, Pranjic

Twente: Boschker; Douglas, Wisgerhof (Stam/14), Rajkovic, Braafheid; Tiote, Perez (Hersi/84), Janssen; Arnautovic (Denneboom/11), N’Kufo, Elia

Goals:     1-0, Popov ‘27
                1-1, Elia ‘54
                2-1, Kalou ‘112
                2-2, Hersi ‘118

Penalty Kicks:

Elm            x    Janssen        x
Dingsdag    x    N’Kufo       x
Breuer        x    Hersi           o
Kalou         x    Braafheid    x
Sibon          x    Douglas      x

Stefan Coerts, Goal.com