Eredivisie Week 1 Roundup: Groningen go top, Ajax and PSV win while Zwolle down Feyenoord
The Eredivisie is back! It was an exciting opening week to the 2013-14 campaign with lots of action, drama and an impressive 28 goals being scored across the 9 matches, despite two goalless draws.
Ajax 3-0 Roda JC
Reigning Eredivisie champions Ajax kicked off their campaign to win a fourth consecutive league title with a strong performance in a 3-0 win over Roda JC.
Frank de Boer’s men were the dominant side throughout the 90 minutes, with Christian Eriksen, Siem de Jong and Ricardo van Rhijn looking particularly impressive for the Amsterdam giants.
It was the highly sought-after Eriksen who created the opening goal, sending a free-kick into the box for Van Rhijn to tap past Filip Kurto after only eight minutes.
Captain De Jong made it 2-0 on the half hour mark when he ran into the space left by Kolbeinn Sigthorsson’s excellent run and latched onto a perfectly placed and timed Eriksen through ball before slotting it in.
Ajax continued to attack throughout the second-half, but the third goal didn’t come until the 83rd minute when Lasse Schone’s shot was saved by Kurto and fell to De Jong whose effort smacked the post and landed perfectly for Viktor Fischer to finish off.
ADO Den Haag 2-3 PSV
PSV made things difficult for themselves as they scraped three points in a 3-2 win over ADO which should have been more comfortable as they lead 3-0 within the first 35 minutes.
It took just 12 minutes for PSV to take the lead as Georginio Wijnaldum ran onto Stijn Schaars’ defence-splitting pass before rounding it off with a fine finish into the bottom corner.
The second goal of the game came just 15 minutes later. ADO’s Danny Holla tried to clear Jeffrey Bruma’s searching long ball but sent it looping over goalkeeper Gino Coutinho and into his own net.
Shortly afterwards, left-back Jetro Willems went on a fine run, playing a one-two with Schaars and then beating two defenders before then extending his side’s lead.
Holla then made up for his earlier error by pulling one back for his side just before the break. New signing Ninos Gouriye collected an excellent through ball on the right flank and cut back to the midfielder who volleyed past Jeroen Zoet.
Both sides created chances in the second period, but the final goal didn’t come until injury time when Bruma failed to clear a Tom Beugelsdijk header and Mike van Duinen was able to capitalise and put it away to make it 3-2. By then, though, it was too late and PSV took the three points back to Eindhoven.
Twente 0-0 RKC
Twente and RKC shared the spoils in a goalless draw in the first round of games this season.
The first clear opportunity of the game came 15 minutes in as Willem Janssen took on a Luc Castaignos pass into the box but the midfielder couldn’t beat RKC goalkeeper Jan Seda.
Minutes later, Castaignos chased down a stray ball as the RKC defence neglected to clear it but his subsequent effort went just wide of the post.
It took 20 minutes for RKC to even look like threatening the Twente goal. Michael Lamey burst down the right wing and passed back to Kenny Anderson but his shot missed the target.
In the second-half, the tip of Seda’s glove was all that kept Joshua John from breaking the deadlock as his effort from distance was tipped onto the crossbar.
Twente continued to attack throughout the remainder of the half and saw several chances fail to beat Seda. Janssen should have at least forced a save from the goalkeeper as he brought down a Quincy Promes cross at the back post, but he scuffed his shot and the threat was eliminated by the RKC defence. Then, Castaignos headed wide from a Roberto Rosales cross and Shadrach Eghan blasted wide from outside the danger area as the game ended all square.
NEC 1-4 Groningen
Groningen top the league in the first weekend of the new campaign thanks to their 5-1 thrashing of Alex Pastoor’s NEC.
It took only nine minutes for the away team to break the deadlock. David Texeira flicked it back to Filip Kostic whose shout was deflected to Tjaronn Chery and the new signing was able to knock it beyond Karl-Johan Johnsson.
A fine goal from Andraz Kirm’s made it 2-0 to the visitors, rounding off a delightful passing move and lifting it into the top corner.
NEC’s Navarone Foor halved the deficit on the stroke of half-time with a brilliant header from a Christoph Hemlein cross.
Groningen’s two goal lead was restored just nine minutes after the restart when Giliano Wijnaldum passed to Kostic on the left side and the Serbian squared to Texeira for a simple tap-in.
Erwin van de Looi’s team brought an end to the game with a goal in the 90th minute as 16-year-old substite Richairo Zivkovic met Kirm’s cross with a header to beat Johnsson and become the youngest ever goalscorer for Groningen.
Heerenveen 4-2 AZ
Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen kicked off proceedings with a thrilling 4-2 victory over AZ in the Abe Lenstra Stadion.
The game got off to a very good start, as both teams made clear their attacking intentions from the opening minutes. Following some very close efforts, the opening goal came after 22 minutes when Heerenveen’s top goalscorer last season, Alfred Finnbogason, stepped up to convert a penalty awarded for a Wuytens hand ball.
AZ enjoyed the better chances for the remainder of the first-half but failed to capitalise. The equaliser came early in the second period, though, when right-back Mattias Johansson charged forward from the middle of the park and played a neat one-two with striker Aron Johannsson before firing into the net.
The hosts’ lead was quickly restored, however, as Pele van Anholt unleashed an effort from outside the box which Esteban could only parry into the path of Finnbogason who tucked it away.
Finnbogason then turned creator as he found himself in possession on the touchline and cut back to Van Anholt who extended his side’s lead.
Heerenveen were sailing with their two-goal lead, but young left-back Dijks, on loan from Ajax, ensured the final 20 minutes were rather nerve-wracking for the home side. The 20-year-old was sent off with a straight red for a terrible late and high challenge on Steven Berghuis in the middle of the park.
AZ eventually managed to reduce the deficit with three minutes remaining when they were awarded a penalty for a Rajiv van La Parra handball. Johannsson managed to just squeeze it in after it hit the post and then bounced over the line.
As four minutes were added on for injury time, there was time for one more goal, but it was Heerenveen who found it and killed the game off. Van Basten’s men charged forward on a counter attack and it was played to Finnbogason who teed it up for Van La Parra to smash home from outside the box.
Cambuur 0-0 NAC
Cambuur took one point from their first game back in the Dutch top flight as they held Nebojsa Gudelj’s NAC to a 0-0 draw.
The Breda side had several chances to open the scoring and Joey Suk should have in the 18th minute. Elson Hooi’s cross was headed off the bar by Alex Schalk and the rebound fell to the midfielder but he sent it sailing over.
Jordy Buijs set Jeffrey Sarpong up with a great through pass but Wout Droste tracked the run of the former Ajax player very well and put in a perfect sliding tackle to block his shot.
A golden opportunity fell to Sepp de Roover as Suk knocked it back from the byline, but the right-back was put off by Saprong who was gearing up for a shot of his own and ended up missing it altogether.
Seconds after the break, Buijs saw his attempt from 25 yards go just wide and shortly after, Hooi took a Tim Gilissen through ball in his stride and went one-on-one with Leonard Nienhuis but the goalkeeper managed to force him wide and the winger couldn’t find the net.
Cambuur’s best chances of creating any danger came from the flanks, with Ajax loanee Jody Lukoki using his pace to great effect and Oebele Schokker threatening at times on the right, but the Jupiler League champions were fairly toothless in attack and were lucky to get a point.
Vitesse 3-1 Heracles
Peter Bosz got off to a great start with his new side Vitesse as they defeated his former club Heracles 3-1 in Gelredome on Sunday.
Vitesse were by far the better team from the early stages, with Heracles looking very flat in the first-half. The deadlock was broken after 27 minutes when Theo Janssen’s through ball found new signing Kelvin Leerdam inside the box and the former Feyenoord player was able to scoop it into the net.
Four minutes later, striker Marcus Pedersen doubled Vitesse’s advantage when he smashed in a low cross from Valeri Qazaishvili.
Heracles looked much better in the early stages of the second-half. Vitesse goalkeeper Piet Velthuizen was called upon to pull of two fantastic saves to ensure his side maintained their two goal cushion. First, he had to react quickly to deny a very good Matthew Amoah effort and then it was Bryan Linssen the shot-stopper had to keep out, diving low to push the ball away from goal.
Despite the chances created by the visitors, it was the hosts who scored the third goal, as Renato Ibarra linked up with Mike Havenaar and took the ball into the box before putting it beyond Remko Pasveer.
Amoah then scored a consolation goal for his side in the dying minutes, latching onto a terrible back pass from Leerdam and charging forward, beating Velthuizen and then keeping a cool head and putting it into the net.
Utrecht 1-1 Go Ahead Eagles
Go Ahead Eagles took a point from their first game in the Eredivisie as they drew 1-1 with Utrecht.
Jens Toornstra came close to grabbing an early goal for Jan Wouters’ side when he cracked the ball off the bar in the sixth minute.
The opener came after a quarter of an hour as Dave Bulthuis diverted a Tommy Oar free-kick beyond Eloy Room.
It took over 30 minutes for Go Ahead Eagles to threaten the Utrecht goal. Xander Houtkoop’s well placed cross set up Marnix Kolder but his shot was well blocked.
Immediately after the restart, Go Ahead pulled level as Houtkoop ran down the left side and played a one-two with Jarchinio Antonia before netting the equaliser.
Eight minutes later, Antonia sent a cross towards the back post for Houtkoop who directed it towards Kolder but the striker’s volley missed the target. Then, Antonia put another dangerous cross in which was at the perfect height for substitute Jeffrey Rijsdijk, but his header was saved by Robin Ruiter. The visitors continued to attack, making good use of the flanks and Kolder had another chance to put them ahead, but his headed effort from another Houtkoop cross was pushed out by Ruiter.
At the other end, Mark van der Maarel sent a low cross in towards Jacob Mulenga but the sliding tackle of Jop van der Linden ensured the striker couldn’t finish it. The ball then bounced towards Toornstra, but the centre-back was there once again to block the follow up.
Both teams created chances in the final 20 minutes but neither could break the deadlock and it finished 0-0.
Zwolle 2-1 Feyenoord
It was a perfect welcome home to Zwolle for former player and new coach Ron Jans as his side beat Feyenoord 2-1 in the final game of the weekend.
The Blauwvingers started the brighter of the two teams, attacking from kick-off, while Feyenoord lacked momentum and the attacking potency shown throughout last season.
The Rotterdam side’s star striker Graziano Pelle was well marked by the Zwolle defence, who managed to force him further away from the hosts’ goal. Pelle grew frustrated at the lack of service from his teammates, but when he did get the ball at his feet, he often picked out some key passes which created some danger for the visitors, but the danger was eventually dealt with by the Zwolle backline.
The deadlock was broken after 65 minutes when Jesper Drost broke down the right wing and crossed to Mateusz Klich in the middle of the box who was able to nod past Erwin Mulder.
Feyenoord managed to equalise with just three minutes left when Stefan de Vrij was given plenty of space on the edge of the box and unleashed a shot which was diverted into the net by Ruben Schaken.
Just as the game looked destined to finish all square, Guyon Fernandez, on loan from Feyenoord, popped up to fire into the bottom corner in injury time to steal the three points for Zwolle.