DAVID SMITH - Sunday, January 15, 2012
Charles Kazlauskas played the full 90 minutes in Helmond's midfield on Friday evening, as they marked their return from the winter break with a stale scoreless draw at FC Eindhoven.
The Milwaukee-born defender moved up from his usual place in the back line to occupy the right side of a three-man midfield, and picked up a yellow card early in the second half along the way.
The hosts, who entered the game second place in the league standings, were close to taking an early advantage when a third-minute free kick found its way to Ratko Vansimpsen in front of goal, however the young Belgian was unable to convert.
The crippling absences for Helmond combined with the confinement of head coach Hans de Koning to the stands due to suspension increasingly affected their willingness and ability to take any kind of positive approach as the game wore on.
Thus is was no surprise that they took a heavily defensive approach throughout the entire 90 minutes, holding the majority of possession throughout the second half and entirely stifling Eindhoven's scant few attempts to push for the three points.
They did manage to create some nervous moments for their hosts in the closing minutes, first when forward Kevin Bossman nearly turned in a cross by Jop van der Linden, then almost immediately after when Erik Quekel and Youssef Koubali were both wasteful in dangerous positions.
With the point taken, Helmond move into a three-way tie on 22 points with MVV Maasricht and FC Oss, although they trail both by way of goal differential leaving them in 13th place.
They have a good chance to leapfrog both into 11th, as they will host the division's bottom team AGOVV Apeldoorn on Monday evening in a make-up game.