BRENDAN WIMBERLY - Monday, November 19, 2012
Jozy Altidore put in a quality performance for AZ while Charles Kazlauskas led Helmond Sport to a victory over FC Volendam.
Groningen 1 - 1 AZ
Jozy Altidore and Adam Maher combined to help AZ find a late goal to grab a point on the road against Groningen.
Tim Sparv gave Groningen the lead in the 57th minute. Genero Zeefuik was able to head an Andraz Kirm set piece across the front of the net for Sparv who just had to redirect the ball into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
Altidore helped AZ level the score in the 72nd minute. The former New York Red Bulls star found Maher rushing into the box, and the Dutch international casually slid the ball into the lower right corner.
Altidore was effective holding the ball up throughout the course of the game, but wasn't able to convert any of his own scoring chances. Four minutes into stoppage time, Altidore lined up for a free kick on the edge of the box and it went inches over the cross bar.
AZ are off until next Sunday when they face fifth place Feyenoord.
Helmond Sport 2 - 0 FC Volendam
Charles Kazlauskas played the entire match on Friday, helping Helmond beat Volendam. Though the visitors maintained the majority of possession throughout the game, Kazaluskas contributed greatly to the Helmond defensive effort, allowing Volendam to see few quality scoring opportunities.
Emrullah Guvenc opened the scoring for Helmond in the 20th minute. The Volendam defense failed to clear a Davy Browers corner, and the Belgian striker pounced on the botched attempt to give the home team the early lead.
The visitor's ambitions were further dampened in the 42nd minute when Paul De Lange received a red card for a tackle on Brouwers.
Daniel Guijo Velasco supplied the insurance goal for Helmond in the 70th minute. Zarko Grabovac slipped a pass through the backline for the midfielder who hammered it past Volendam keeper Sonny Stevens.
Helmond move up to fourth in the Eerste Divisie with the win. Kazlauskas and teammates hope to continue their ascent up the standings next Friday against AGOVV.