RICH FIDLER - Sunday, October 16, 2011
AZ Alkmaar settled for a tie on the road at Amsterdam Arena while Helmond Sport would score two goals in second half stoppage time to secure a road point following Charles Kazlauskas' opener.
Ajax Amsterdam 2-2 AZ Alkmaar
American striker Jozy Altidore returned from international duty and went the full 90 minutes for the visitors in their draw on Saturday afternoon.
In the 14th minute Brett Holman put the visitors on the board when his shot deflected off the leg of Jan Vertonghen and past Ajax goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer who had no chance on the unfortunate deflection.
Just six minutes later Holman found himself alone on the counter attack before passing the ball to midfielder Roy Beerens who lobbed the Ajax goalkeeper from the right of the box to double AZ's lead.
The home team struck the crossbar twice within moments before the break when Siem de Jong's header hit the crossbar in the 36th minute before another shot by Derk Boerrigter struck the bar seconds later.
Ajax was able to pull a goal back just minutes in to the second half when AZ's Dirk Marcellis brought down Boerrigter in the penalty area and Miralem Sulejmani stepped up to bury shot from the penalty spot.
Theo Janssen brought the home team level in the 82nd minute with a powerful shot just minutes before Eyong Enoh saw red for his second yellow card of the match.
The visitors weren't able to capitalize on the man advantage over the last eight minutes of the game.
AZ will host Vienna in Europa League action on Thursday before facing Roda JC next Sunday in league action.
Maastricht 3-3 Helmond Sport
Kazlauskas would open the scoring for the visitors in the sixth minute when he headed home a cross from Juanito Sequeira unmarked in the penalty area.
The home team scored three unanswered to put put themselves up 3-1 by the 60th minute that started in the 16th minute with Prince Rajcomar's finish that knotted the game at a goal each.
Tom Daemen put the home team ahead just six minutes before the half-time break when he intercepted a poor pass out of the back and strolled to the top of the area before curling a shot past goalkeeper Björn Sengier.
Daemen finished a penalty in the 59th minute after Sengier guessed the wrong direction.
In the 89th minute Maastricht midfielder Bryan Smeets received his second yellow card and the home team would pay for his absence when Erik Quekel pulled the team within one goal.
Defender Job van der Linden gave the team an improbably point with his goal just seconds from the full time whistle as his left-footed free kick smacked off the underside of the crossbar and in to the goal.
Helmond will head home to square off against Fortuna on Friday evening.