Luca de la Torre and Heracles had a disappointing loss in their final game before the break while Richard Ledezma and Cole Bassett remained on the bench for their respective teams in this weekend’s Eredivisie action.
SC Heerenveen 2 – 0 Heracles Almelo
In his last outing before heading across the Atlantic for a trio of World Cup qualifiers with the USMNT, Luca de la Torre went the distance in the center of the park for Heracles on Friday in their shut-out loss at Heerenveen.
While Heracles had a slight edge in overall possession of the ball, and were by far the more prolific passers of the two teams, they had issues creating any chances around goal, and were out-shot by their hosts by a 14-7 margin.
For his part, de la Torre was a solid and active contributor in the midfield, completing 91% of his 44 pass attempts, having 67 total touches, hitting 100% of his long-ball attempts, and winning 7 out of 12 duels on the ball against the opposition.
Sydney van Hooijdonk had the biggest chance of the first half for the hosts, almost sliding the ball into goal when Heracles keeper Koen Bucker was drawn off his line, however Mats Knoester was able to block it with the tip of his boot amidst the melee.
de la Torre had a fine chance in the 57th minute, keeping possession under pressure to advance to the edge of the area, where his blast was blocked at the left post by Heerenveen keeper Erwin Mulder.
The hosts then opened the scoring two minutes later, after van Hooijdonk fought for possession and slid a forward pass to Amin Sarr, who was streaking up the middle. The Swedish youth international had space between his two defenders to find his angle, and strike a low shot to the right corner for the 1-0 lead.
Heracles still held strong despite the setback, and thought they had equalized with seven minutes left on the clock when Sinan Bakis struck a tight-angled shot from the right, however it was immediately called off for offside, confirmed by VAR after a short pause.
The hosts then went on to add an insurance goal two minutes from full time, with Nick Bakker pouncing on a free kick from the deep left flank, that had been allowed to bounce all the way to the far post.
Heracles drop two places to 13th, still several places and five points clear of the relegation playoff spot. They are back in action on April 3, with a visit to 16th-place Fortuna Sittard.
Cole Bassett was an unused substitute for Feyenoord Rotterdam on Sunday, as they were unable to hang onto a first-half lead, losing late to leaders Ajax by a 3-2 margin. Having not been chosen for international duty, Bassett will have a short break with his team before they are back on the field on April 2 with a home game against Willem II Tilburg.
Richard Ledezma was in uniform for PSV Eindhoven’s first team on Sunday, but was not called into action as they destroyed lowly Fortuna Sittard by a 5-0 margin to keep up the pressure on Eredivisie leaders Ajax.