Ricardo Pepi

Ricardo Pepi added another pair of goals to his growing total for Groningen in their loss to Waalwijk, while Taylor Booth’s demotion to Utrecht’s second-team did see him earn a start in the team’s loss.

FC Groningen 2 – 3 RKC Waalwijk

Ricardo Pepi continued his hot streak for Groningen, however a first-half red card for the team saw them unable to hold off visiting RKC Waalwijk in a disappointing loss.

Just past the ten-minute mark, Groningen were given a golden opportunity when Tomas Suslov was knocked over while working his way into the area near the endline. After a VAR review, the referee’s decision to point to the spot was upheld, and Pepi coolly whipped the resulting spot kick to the left side of goal, as the keeper lunged in the opposite direction.

Groningen’s optimism was quickly dashed, however, after Radinio Balker got caught up with Roy Kuijpers in a tangle of legs in the area. Adding insult to injury, as Balker was the last defender, he was also shown a straight red.

Dario van den Buijs put away the equalizing spot kick for the visitors, leaving Groningen to navigate the remaining 50-plus minutes plus added time with a man-disadvantage.

They held on until the hour mark, when Mika Biereth ran onto a deflected ball by Julian Lelieveld in the left side of the area, and targeted his shot just past the outstretched leg of Groningen keeper Michael Verrips for the 2-1 lead.

However, Pepi still had one more act, and temporarily put the teams back on even terms in the 76th minute. After playing a quick one-two with Florian Krüger, he smashed his shot from seven yards out past the dumbfounded Waalwijk keeper for the 2-2.

Still, the visitors would be the ones to celebrate, with Mika Biereth netting the 80th-minute winner when he pulled down a long ball from Iiass Bel Hassani, split the two central defenders and rounded the keeper before making easy work of his short finish to secure the three points.

Groningen finish the round in 15th place, still a full three points clear of the drop zone. They are back in action on Sunday afternoon with a visit to Twente.

Jong Ajax 0 – 1 Helmond Sport

Kik Pierie had his usual standout performance in the Jong Ajax central defense, but an early goal by their visitors Helmond Sport was the difference-maker in their narrow loss.

The game was ultimately less than two minutes after the opening whistle. A chaotic opening sequence saw Helmond’s Peter van Ooijen slide a pass over to Elmo Lieftink, who one-timed his 25-yard shot between the Ajax defenders and into the upper right corner for the early winner.

Pierie was a dominant figure as usual in the central defense for the hosts, managing a remarkable 149 total touches, completing 88% of his 136 passing attempts, attempting one shot, hitting 11 of 18 long ball attempts, winning all six of his duels, while committing no fouls.

With the loss, Jong Ajax finish the round in 11th place, and are back on the field on Friday with a visit to eighth-place Almere City.

Jong Utrecht 0 – 2 Almere City FC

Taylor Booth was demoted to Utrecht’s reserve team in the Eerste Divisie, however he did earn a valuable, if unremarkable hour of playing time in their two-goal home loss to Almere City FC on Friday.

Booth played just over an hour on the right side of his team’s midfield, having 38 touches, completing 17 of 24 passes, taking a pair of shots, setting up one chance, while drawing three fouls.

Just before the 28-minute mark, Booth finished off a nice sequence by the Jong Utrecht attack, receiving the ball just beyond the penalty spot and displaying nice control to keep the ball at his foot while making a turn towards goal, however his shot was just wide left.

After a scoreless first half, Hamdi Akujobi broke the deadlock for the visitors in the 56th minute, taking a short lay-off from Jeredy Hilterman and striking his low shot from the right side towards the near post and into the back of the net.

Booth left the game just past the hour mark for Lynden Edhart, however the visitors only proceeded to double their advantage moments later.

Thomas Poll wove his way to the left edge of the area before firing a loss cross towards the near post, that Hilterman easily put away from close range to secure the final 2-0 win.

Jong Utrecht are dead last in the Eerste Divisie. Their next outing is on Friday when they visit De Graafschap Doetinchem, however Booth will hope to be back with the first team, who lost 2-1 at home to AZ Alkmaar on Sunday, when they suit up again on Sunday for a visit to PSV Eindhoven.

Jong PSV 0 – 2 Telstar

Dante Sealy played just over an hour in the attack for Jong PSV on Friday, as they suffered a second-half collapse to suffer defeat at the hands of visiting Telstar.

Sealy started on the right side of Jong PSV’s front-three, and in his lackluster hour of play managed no shots or chances created amidst his 40 touches.

He was pulled in favor of Isaac Babadi with the game still scoreless in the 62nd minute, shortly before the game swung heavily in Telstar’s favor.

Jong PSV central defender Jenson Seelt knocked over an opposing attacker in the area just past the 66-minute mark, and Greek attacker Christos Giousis pranced his way to putting away the resulting spot kick for the ultimate winner.

Yael Liesdek added an insurance score in the 75th minute, connecting on a long cross from Giousis, and one-timing his shot from the right side of the area for the 2-0 advantage.

Jong PSV finish the round in 12th place, and are back on the field on Friday with a visit to third-place MVV Maastricht.

Notes

Richard Ledezma was a garbage-time substitute in the 90th minute for PSV Eindhoven’s 1-0 road win over Heerenveen on Sunday.

Cole Bassett was a late, time-killing substitute for Fortuna Sittard on Sunday as they took a valuable 2-1 road win over Vitesse Arnhem.

Joshua Pynadath stayed on Jong AZ’s bench for the duration on Friday night as they smashed NAC Breda by a 4-0 scoreline.

By David Smith

I'm YA's resident doctor, but not the kind of doctor you would want giving you an examination anywhere outside of a lecture hall. I've been YA's feet-on-the-ground in Germany since 2008, have an affinity for overly verbose descriptions of irrelevant minutiae, keep an eye on YAs in most of the destinations on mainland Europe, and watch a whole lot of Serie A.

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