Cillessen again schlemiel in painful defeat NEC against Heerenveen
Watch the summary of NEC-Heerenveen
SC Heerenveen scored an important 3-2 victory at NEC with much fortune. The Nijmegen side were better, but eventually let themselves be trounced in the closing stages with a negative leading role for Jasper Cillessen.
NEC coach Rogier Meijer spoke beforehand of “four more finals” in the battle for spot eight, which entitles him to playoff soccer. A windfall for Meijer was the return of Oussama Tannane – important this season for many goals and assists – from a hamstring injury.
The creative playmaker immediately asserted himself early in the game by firing a free kick narrowly past the goal of Heereveen goalkeeper Xavier Mous.
The same Tannane had himself outplayed in midfield ten minutes later, after which Heerenveen was awarded a free kick just outside the penalty area. Specialist Thom Haye saw his chance and brilliantly left NEC goalie Cillessen defenseless.
Despite the goal, NEC maintained a field advantage. Ten minutes before halftime, Tannane was awarded a free kick after Landry Dimata was brought to the ground illegally. Goalkeeper Mous worked the swabbing ball past the goal with great difficulty.
From the corner that followed it did hit the mark. Tannane brought the ball in and via Iván Márquez’s head Magnus Mattsson was able to easily shoot in the equalizer.
NEC better out of the dressing room
NEC played merrily on in the second half, while Heerenveen – which has performed moderately in recent weeks – had almost nothing left to contribute. Meanwhile, the Nijmegen side did so without Tannane, as he was taken out after an hour of play. The playmaker did not look completely out of control, but was disappointed with the substitution.
The joy in Nijmegen was quickly restored, as Dimata put NEC ahead soon after. A cross from Souffian El Karouani – who this week indicated he was leaving at the end of the season – was cleverly headed in by the striker. After the goal, NEC had several more chances for 3-1.
Bit by bit Heerenveen recovered after that. Cillessen was put to the test more and more often.
The goalie first cleverly kept Mats Köhlert from scoring and then saved a crafty free kick by Thom Haye. Ten minutes before time, however, Cillessen was hopeless when Sydney van Hooijdonk – top scorer in the premier league – scored on a pass from Osame Sahraoui.
Meijer on Cilessen: ‘Big mistake, that’s how he looks at it himself’
And where Cillessen was still incredibly important in the first instance, he was able to sink through the floor just before the start of injury time. He misjudged a failed shot by Antoine Colassin. Cillessen thought the ball would go over the back line, but nothing could be further from the truth: the ball bounced in via the post.
Another big disappointment for NEC, and especially for Cillessen, who had already been conspicuous by several blunders against Vitesse. And that while the goalkeeper took many points for the Nijmegen side at the beginning of the season.
“It was a big mistake, that’s how he looks at it himself,” spoke NEC coach Rogier Meijer, who spoke up for his goalkeeper afterwards. “If you make a mistake as a goalkeeper, it’s immediately fatal. After all, I think we missed three chances at 3-1.”