This weekend’s football round-up brought the joy of six for PEC and Utrecht as Cambuur and AZ take a hammering. PSV move ever closer to the title, Zivkovic impresses for Ajax and goal line technology makes an Eredivisie debut, writes Neil Adderley.
Willem II 2 – 2 FC Twente: Turbulent week ends with a point for Twente
With Twente deducted three points, and the club declared as good as bankrupt, a Hakim Ziyech double gave the Tukkers some form of respite in a turbulent week.
To rub salt into the visitors wounds, Twente loanee Jerson Cabral had given Willem II a two goal advantage. But a sublime free kick and a smart far post finish either side of the break from Ziyech, rescued a point for the troubled Enschede club.
PEC Zwolle 6 – 1 Cambuur Leeuwarden: Joy of six as PEC return to winning ways
PEC Zwolle brought a halt to a four game losing streak by hitting a poor Cambuur for six at the Ijsseldelta Stadion.
The returning Tomas Necid, in his first game since re-signing in January, injected a much needed shot in the arm for Ron Jans’ men.
And PEC went ahead on 30 minutes as Jesper Drost showed some neat footwork before firing past Cambuur stopper Leonard Nienhuis.
Maikel van der Werff quickly doubled the lead with a powerful free kick and when Necid returned a Jody Lukoki cross on the hour mark, Ryan Thomas all but sealed the three points.
The stage was then set for substitute Stef Nijland who hit a 20 minute hat trick, including a wonderful strike for his third goal, after the former PSV and Groningen forward had replaced fellow striker Necid.
Heracles Almelo 1 – 1 Vitesse Arnhem: Last gasp Avdic strike rescues vital point
Vitesse traveled to Almelo as the Eredivisie’s form team and a Bertrand Traore tap in on 21 minutes seemed enough to give Peter Bosz’ side a seventh straight league win.
The visitors missed a host of chances to kill off battling Heracles and were eventually made to pay on 94 minutes. Denni Avdic stabbing the ball under Eloy Room to hand the home team a vital point in the fight against relegation.
Heracles find themselves three points above the drop zone, while Vitesse remain in sixth place.
ADO Den Haag 0 – 1 Heerenveen: Slagveer steals it for Heerenveen
ADO suffered a Heerenveen smash and grab as an 80th minute Luciano Slagveer handed the Friesians the spoils at the Kyocera Stadion. The home team had the best of a disappointing contest and were left ruing some sloppy finishing from the otherwise reliable Michiel Kramer.
ADO pushed for a late equaliser but Slagveer’s late winner would in the end prove enough for Dwight Lodeweges’ team.
Go Ahead Eagles 0 – 3 PSV Eindhoven: Eagles grounded by ruthless PSV
Three first half goals, including a trademark free kick from Memphis Depay, gave the champions in waiting a comfortable victory over struggling Go ahead.
Any thoughts of a PSV wobble, after the leaders 3-1 home reverse to Ajax, were swiftly dismissed as Depay beat Mickey van der Hart from 25 yards.
A Jop van der Linden own goal, and an acrobatic finish from Mexican international Andres Guardado ensured PSV would retain an 11 point gap over Ajax at the top of the Eredivisie.
Go Ahead remain in 15th place and just four points above the relegation zone.
FC Utrecht 6 – 2 AZ Alkmaar: AZ hit for six at Stadion Galgenwaard
AZ’s fine run of form came to a shuddering halt as Utrecht fired six past John van den Brom’s visitors. Once Willem Janssen powered home a second minute header AZ failed to recover.
And they found themselves 3-0 down after just 15 minutes with goals from Mark Diemers and the in form Sebastian Haller
Van den Brom made three half time changes and one of his substitutes, Aron Johannsson, handed AZ a glimmer of hope on 53 minutes.
However, hopes of a comeback were snuffed out when Haller restored Utrecht’s three goal lead from the penalty spot.
A stunning curled effort from the returning Kristoffer Peterson made it 5-1 for the home team, and despite a late AZ consolation from a Gevero Markiet own goal, Utrecht would have the last word.
Edouard Duplan leaving the helpless Esteban Alvarado to pick the ball out of his net for the sixth time.
Feyenoord 3 – 0 NAC Breda: Goal line technology helps Feyenoord to comfortable victory
Lex Immers scored the first ever goal using the aid of technology as Feyenoord ran out easy winners against relegation haunted NAC Breda.
The midfielders header crashed off the underside of the bar before being cleared but Eredivisie history was made as a goal was given on the say of the goal line technology system.
Struggling NAC failed to respond and barely threatened a Feyenoord side who eventually sealed all the points with two second half Mitchell te Vrede goals.
Feyenoord climb above AZ and into third while NAC remain in deep trouble at the foot of the table.
Ajax 1 – 0 Excelsior: Ajax grateful for late El Ghazi header
Ajax remain 11 points behind leaders PSV thanks to a 83rd minute Anwar El Ghazi winner.
Stand in striker Lasse Schone should have opened the scoring for Ajax but could only fire wide, although it was Excelsior who fashioned the majority of chances in a poor first half from both teams.
With the game limping towards a scoreless draw, Frank de Boer introduced substitute Richairo Zivkovic, and the former FC Groningen teenager certainly livened up proceedings.
After firing wide with his first touch, the youngster put in a perfect cross to leave El Ghazi the simple task of heading home.
The late cameo was almost rewarded with a deserved goal but the exciting Zivkovic was flagged for offside after some smart play and finish.
FC Groningen 2 – 0 FC Dordrecht: Groningen see off rock bottom Dordrecht
Groningen’s poor run of form finally came to an end as Edwin van de Looi’s team eventually overcame a stubborn Dordrecht at the Euroborg.
The home side dominated the first half and should have gone into the break with more than a 1-0 lead.
Former Manchester City player Albert Rusnak gave Groningen the advantage on 44 minutes, but not before the hosts missed a number of chances to settle the nerves of an edgy home support.
Dordrecht showed more attacking intent in the second half without seriously threatening to equalise, and Groningen finally put the game to bed in injury time through Tjaronn Chery.
Chery, who burst powerfully into the box before finishing smartly with his left foot, dedicated his goal to a close friend who had earlier in the week tragically lost his life in a fatal car accident.
Despite the win, Groningen’s hopes of making a European play-off place remain slim, while another defeat leaves Dordrecht six points away from safety.
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