BRENDAN WIMBERLY - Monday, September 23, 2013
Aron Johannsson and Charles Kazlauskas were on opposite sides of 3-0 scorelines this week as AZ are still looking for consistency while Helmond are climbing the Eerste Divisie.
NAC Breda 3 - 0 AZ Alkmaar
Three second half goals from NAC Breda sealed the host's a victory over Aron Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar. The American striker went the distance at the top of Gertjan Verbeek's lineup.
Both sides created chances to no avail in the first half. Johannsson set up a great chance for Swedish midfielder Viktor Elm early in the first half, but the Swede couldn't redirect Johannsson low cross into the from six yards out, sending it wide.
Danny Verbeek began the second onslaught for NAC in the 50th minute. The right winger cut inside onto his left foot and unleashed a shot from the edge of the penalty area which left AZ goalie Esteban Alvarado no chance as it went into the lower left corner of the net.
NAC expanded the lead in 74th minute thanks to relentless pressure and a little bit of luck.
Rydell Poepon forced AZ defender Jan Wuytens into coughing up possession. After pouncing on the loose ball, Poepon passed to Elson Hooi whose 25 yard strike bounced off the post and directly into the line of the insistent Poepon who netted the rebound to make it 2-0.
Hooi was able to find the net for himself one minute into stoppage time to further demoralize the visitors.
The Curacao international set off on a torrid counter attack from midfield, outrunning AZ defenders Wuytens and Nick Viergever in the process before send a right footed finish from close range just inside the right post.
AZ set about defending their Dutch Cup championship midweek when they host Sparta Rotterdam.
FC Volendam 0 - 3 Helmond Sport
Charles Kazlauskas played 90 minutes for Helmond as they grabbed a resounding win at FC Volendam. The win gives Helmond their fourth out in the last five games after failing to grab a win in their first four.
Serhat Koc was the star man on the day for Helmond, bagging two goals on the afternoon. A fortuitous glance off Volendam captain Gerry Koning nestled Koc's blast from 20 yards out into the lower right corner as goalie Theo Timmermans dove the opposite way.
An industrious run from Koen Weuts earned the defender the opportunity to widen the gap for for Helmond in the 28th minute.
Striker Davy Brouwers ran towards the end line before angling back for the unmarked Weuts, who buried his opportunity from just outside the six yard box.
Volendam's back four incorrectly perceived Marc Koot to be offside in the 68th minute, allowing the center forward to run free into the box, where he crossed for the pursuant Koc who calmly slid it into the open left corner from ten yards out, setting the score decisively in Helmond's favor at 3-0.
The shutout was the first of the season for Kazlauskas and his defensive teammates.
Helmond have a chance to prolong their current fine run next weekend when they host struggling Almere City.