Groningen needs ‘miracle’ – NEC battles for playoffs European soccer
White flag not yet raised in Groningen
Dennis van der Ree has not completely given up hope when it comes to maintaining in the premier league. “Theoretically it could still happen,” says the Groningen coach, but the look in his eyes is more despondent than hopeful. “Until then, I wouldn’t put out the white flag yet, but it will be very difficult.”
To still avoid direct relegation, Groningen must win all of its last four premier league games while hoping Excelsior loses points.
‘Rock-hard bash’ according to Leeuwenburgh
Peter Leeuwenburgh stands defeated in front of the camera. “This is a rock-hard thump,” are the FC Groningen goalkeeper’s clear words. “This one is really painful. We were pretty reasonable in the match and then you hope that it falls our way for once.”
Yet there is also hope for Leeuwenburgh. When asked if Groningen are relegated today, he answers resolutely, “no.” “But we also need a miracle,” the goalkeeper knows.
GRO-NEC | Gone in Groningen
It’s finished in Groningen: NEC wins 1-0 and emphatically enters the battle for the playoffs for European soccer.
Groningen must make up eleven points on Excelsior in the remaining four duels to avoid direct relegation. That seems an impossible task, because it would require four wins and even then it depends on Excelsior’s results.
GRO-NEC | 84′ GOAL NEC
Jordy Bruijn, who was already close to a goal a few times today, gets behind the ball and shoots. Groningen looks set to suffer their seventh defeat in a row as a result.
GRO-NEC | 82′ Penalty and red
Things are wide open at Groningen. Pedro Marques dives into the huge hole in the Groningen defense and is brought down by Laros Duarte. The Groninger gets red and the referee resolutely points to the spot.
GRO-NEC | 77′ Groningen under pressure
FC Groningen has not come out from under NEC’s pressure for some time. The 0-1 is in the air, but doesn’t fall yet. Magnus Mattson just cannot head the ball, because Leeuwenburgh can punch the ball away just in time and Jordy Bruijn shoots high over from close range.
No good, money back at Tottenham
Supporters of Tottenham Hotspur who witnessed Sunday’s 6-1 defeat at Newcastle United will get their money back. This has been decided jointly by the players, reports the top English club.
“We understand your frustration and anger,” the squad wrote in a statement. “We know that words are not enough in situations like this, but believe us, a defeat like this hurts. We appreciate your support, both in home and away games. With this in mind, we would like to reimburse fans for the cost of their match tickets at St James’ Park.”
The players won’t leave it at that and promise improvement. “We know this doesn’t change what happened on Sunday and we will do everything we can to put things right, starting Thursday night against Manchester United.”
Interim coach Cristian Stellini was sacked a day after the wide defeat at Tottenham Hotspur, which is in fifth place and far from participating in the Champions League next season.
GRO-NEC | 64′ Futeless NEC
There is little energy in the NEC team so far, to the frustration of coach Rogier Meijer and others along the sidelines. Groningen also slumped during the second half, creating few chances.
NEC’s Jordy Bruijn does have a nice shot, but the linesman has seen an offside situation, so even Groningen goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenburgh’s fine save no longer matters.
Groningen yearns for victory
FC Groningen won only one of its last eighteen premier league matches. That one win, a 3-0 home victory over Excelsior, was on Feb. 25 of this year. No team collected as few points from its last eighteen premier league games as the northerners.
In total, Groningen did not take the full spoils very often this season anyway, only four times. The current number seventeen of the premier league has already lost twenty games. Since the club was founded in 1971, Groningen only lost as many league matches in a season in 1973/1974.
Clubs struggle, several tons of damage
FC Groningen and NEC are struggling with the KNVB’s tightened measures that allow matches to be suspended and stopped more quickly. Both clubs last weekend had the dubious honor of being involved in the first suspended Eredivisie match after the new policy was implemented.
“We question the current consequences of the introduced policy in relation to the consequences for club and supporters, who are in the same boat with each other,” a spokesman for the Groningers stated.
The match was stopped because a Groningen fan threw a mug of beer at a linesman. According to the club, the suspended match results in damages of “a few tons.”
Read the entire article about it at the link below:
Possible Finalissima for AZ youth
The European adventure of the AZ talents does not end yet with the Youth League win. After all, a Finalissima.
Coach Jan Sierksma reveals that. So a battle with the winner of the South American Youth League lies ahead. “That will be a match between Under-20 teams. Whether it is true, I still have to get it confirmed. But it would be fantastic,” Sierksma said after the victory over Hajduk Split.
What the coach does know for sure: this youth team from AZ will be there during the Conference League game with West Ham United. His team will probably even get a lap of honor in the AFAS Stadium.
New rules applied for the first time
At NAC – Willem II, the KNVB’s tightened rules were applied for the first time.
The Football Association announced the tightening of measures after the “lighter incident” during the Feyenoord-Ajax cup match. A match is immediately stopped when a player or referee is hit from the audience by an object, as happened to Ajacied Davy Klaassen in De Kuip.
For only throwing objects without hitting anyone, players and referees go to the dressing rooms the first time and the match is temporarily stopped. On a second occasion, the game is stopped immediately.
Good afternoon and welcome to this weekday soccer liveblog. There are two games scheduled today, but they are no longer full games. In fact, both duels were stopped because objects were thrown onto the field from the stands.
In the first division match between NAC Breda and Willem II on April 14, it happened in the 74th minute. In the premier league match FC Groningen – NEC, on April 22, the players went back into the dressing room in the 18th minute.
Groningen, which has not won six premier league games in a row, could use a win in the fight against relegation. And even with a win against NEC, the gap with number sixteen Excelsior is still substantial: eight points with four games to play.