DAVID SMITH - Monday, April 1, 2013
Charles Kazlauskas went the distance for Helmond on Monday afternoon, as the team stayed alive in the Eerste Divisie championship race with a gritty win at Den Bosch.
After a largely tame opening 45 minutes, Helmond wasted no time in taking the lead four minutes into the second second half with a goal that the hosts will be embarrassed to have not stopped. Jeffrey van Nuland delivered a fine free kick into the area, which the 5'5" Emrullah Güvenç somehow managed to head over the line amidst a crowd of relative giants.
The goal did little to rouse the hosts, who failed to exert any pressure on their guests, and were of little danger as the clock neared the full 90 minutes.
Then with seven minutes remaining, Helmond netted an important second goal. Samir Fazli broke behind the Den Bosch defense near midfield, and charge forward into what looked to be a one-on-one with keeper Kevin Begois. Instead of taking the shot himself, he slid the ball over to Davy Brouwers, who slid it into the open net for 2-0.
This proved to be particularly important after Den Bosch substitute Hasan Kilic collected a cross two minutes later and put it away to cut the lead to a single goal, forcing Helmond to hang on nervously for the final five minutes of regulation and four of added time, before finally celebrating the win.
A concurrent loss by erstwhile division leaders Sparta has allowed Helmond to climb into a three-way tie with Volendam and Maastricht in first. This will likely change for the worse next weekend, as they will be inactive due to the cancellation of their regularly scheduled match against bankrupt AGOVV Apeldoorn.
They will have a chance to make the points up shortly thereafter, as they will subsequently face promotion competitors Volendam and Sparta on the two following weekends.