BRENDAN WIMBERLY - Sunday, September 15, 2013
Both Aron Johannsson and Charles Kazlauskas were on the winning side of the equation this weekend in Holland.
AZ Alkmaar 3 - 0 Go Ahead Eagles
Aron Johannsson played a starring role for AZ as they defeated newly promoted Go Ahead Eagles at home on Sunday.
The American striker was a threat from the onset, and opened the scoring in the 31st minute. Johannsson dribbled past Sjoerd Overgoor in the penalty area, forcing the midfielder into an ill-advised sliding tackle, drawing a penalty which Johannsson stepped up and converted himself.
Johannsson continued to be dangerous up top for AZ, setting up chances for others and carving out his own, until he was removed for Steven Berghuis in the 81st minute.
Although Eagles kept it close for most of the match, AZ were able to strike twice in stoppage time to put the game to bed. In the 91st minute, Berghuis and Roy Beerens connected brilliantly along the sideline before a delicate Berghuis scoop pass gave Beerens space to cross for a wide open Viktor Elm in front of net, where the Swede was free to head in to make the score 2-0.
Berghuis and Beerens added insult to injury in the 94th minute when a Beerens shot ricochetted off the post before landing perfectly for Berghuis to follow up with an easy tap into the net, putting the game out of reach.
Johannsson and AZ get back to work in the Europa League on Thursday against Maccabi Haifa while Eagles take on Cambuur in the Eredivisie next Friday.
Helmond Sport 2 - 1 FC Dordrecht
Charles Kazlauskas went the distance for Helmond as they came from behind to beat Eerste Divisie leaders FC Dordrecht.
Though Dordrecht and Helmond came into the game as the two top scoring teams in the Eerste Divisie, the scoreboard stayed blank until a lucky moment in the 58th minute. Dordrecht defender Matthew Steenvoorden sent a low drive towards net from 25 yards out which took a fortuitous bounce of off striker Erixon Danso's legs past bewildered Helmond goalie Wouter van der Steen.
Helmond regrouped, and Serhat Koc leveled the score in the 82nd minute. Mark Janssen nodded a van der Steen goalkick towards the Dordrecht penalty area where Serhat Koc outmuscled Marvin Peersman at the top of the box and proceeded to chip over onrushing Dordrecht goalie Warner Hahn to knot the score.
Kazalauskas picked up a yellow card in the 90th minute, his first of the season.
Referee Joachim Kamphuis called Steenvoorden for a questionable foul in the box in the 93th minute, and Davy Brouwers converted the subsequent penalty to seal the win for Helmond.
Helmond get back to work on Friday when they travel to Volendam while Dordrecht host Willem II the same day.