Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Oguchi Onyewu and FC Twente fell to second place in the Dutch Eredivisie title race, after a home draw against tenth-place NEC Nijmegen on Sunday.
Onyewu once again got the start at right-back, rather than his customary role of central defender, playing all 90 minutes and drawing a 38th minute yellow card.
Twente have only lost one home match all season, but NEC struck first with a goal from Niki Zimling. In the seventh minute, Lasse Schone found himself surrounded by defenders, but none chose to close him down before he found Zimling streaking ahead of Nacer Chadli, and sent him clear through to goal.
Almost a minute later, some feisty NEC attacking led to a one-two between Bas Sibum and Schone, the latter man dribbling to the edge of the box before firing a straight shot at the hands of Twente goalkeeper Nikolai Mihaylov.
With leading scorer Marc Janko out of the starting lineup, Twente put its attacking impetus on star Costa Rican winger Bryan Ruiz, who nearly equaled the scoring in the 17th minute following a scrambled, left-footed shot in the box.
But Twente were not to be denied the equalizer. In the 27th minute, Emir Bajrami made a sterling solo run, dispossessing Leroy George before embarking on a full-speed march down the NEC left side. His shot was low and at the legs of Jasper Cillessen, but it had enough power to drive through to goal and tie the game, 1-1.
Bajrami made way for Janko in the second half, but the Twente attack could not find the net in the last 45 minutes. Playmaker Theo Janssen forced up a high quantity of crosses and corners, and even though Luuk de Jong hit the underside of the crossbar in the 85th, the ball was judged not to have fully crossed the line.
There will be a chance for Twente to move back into first place, with first-place PSV and third-place Ajax squaring off in the next league round. However, Twente sandwich an Eredivisie matchup at AZ Alkmaar with a Europe League second leg game against Rubin Kazan, who they lead 2-0, and a Dutch Cup semi-final game at home against FC Utrecht.