MICHAEL ADUBATO - Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Luca de la Torre was the only one to see action in Holland as Heracles were shutout by league leaders Ajax during Eredivisie action over the weekend.
Heracles 0-2 Ajax
Luca de la Torre went the distance for Heracles as they saw their four-game unbeaten run come to an end with visitors Ajax putting two past keeper Janis Blaswich, while they could not respond with a goal of their own. Davy Klaassen and Sebastien Haller were the goal scorers.
Despite the result, it was the hosts who got the first sniff at goal. Teun Bijleveld was denied, followed by an Ismail Azzaoui effort that was pushed away by Ajax keeper Maarten Stekelenburg. But it was the visitor's first effort that wielded results after 15 minutes. Klassen hit the ball into the back of the net but then the players had to suffer one of those VAR breaks in order to determine if he was offside or if there was a foul leading up to the goal. The goal stood and Ajax were ahead.
Haller thought he was about to score a minute later to double the lead but the Ivorian attacked hit it just wide of the mark, much to the relief of Blaswich.
In the 80th minute, however, the game was all but over when across from Klaassen was fortunate enough to end up in the goal after it smacked Haller in the knee for the close-range score.
The loss leaves Heracles in 11th place with a dozen games left to the regular season. They're five points out of a playoff position. Sunday afternoon they'll hit the road when they take on RKC Waalwijk who are four places below.
Ulysses Llanez remains sidelined, so missed Heerenveen's trip to Alkmaar, where they lost 3-1 to AZ. The team is in 9th place and just four points from a playoff spot. Up next is a midweek Dutch Cup game against Feyenoord before a league game vs Groningen.
Desevio Payne wasn't on the team sheet for lowly FC Emmen as they lost a close one, 1-0 to Waalwijk. Emmen are on a four game losing streak and will hope to end that when they go up against Zwolle.
PSV II's game against Helmond sport was postponed, so Chris Gloster had the weekend off. Friday night they'll host Den Bosch.