NICK LEYDEN - Sunday, March 13, 2011
Oguchi Onyewu played the full ninety as Twente kept up their title challenge with a home victory over VVV, while Charles Kazlauskas was a second half sub in Helmond Sport's tie with Go Ahead Eagles.
FC Twente 2-1 VVV Venlo
After conceding an early goal to relegation threatened VVV, tallies by Wout Brama and Ola John ensured Twente would take the full three points in De Grolsch Veste on Sunday afternoon.
The guests enjoyed an ideal start as Ferry de Regt nodded home a corner in only the third minute, but they were unable to hold the lead against the defending champions.
Captain Brama notched a deserved equalizer in the 30th minute, tapping in a rebound after VVV's Belgian ‘keeper, Kevin Begois, could only parry Marc Janko's header.
The hosts carried the game for the remainder of the half, as well as the majority of the second stanza, but were made to wait for the winner. Janko and Luuk de Jong specifically had dangerous chances to give Twente the lead but were foiled by Begois.
Though Twente did control the game for the majority of the 90 minutes, Onyewu and the rest of the backline had to be sharp as VVV remained dangerous on the counter.
In fact, VVV nearly took the lead midway through the second half when striker Ruud Boymans hit the crossbar from just outside the box.
The Tukkers breakthrough finally came, though, in the 80th minute when 18 year old substitute John tucked the ball into the back of the net after a short corner.
It was the Liberian's first goal in a Twente uniform, and allowed the hosts to move within one point of league leaders PSV, who were held to a 2-2 tie by NEC.
Gooch and Co. will next take the field in the away leg of their Europa League matchup with Zenit St. Petersburg.
Helmond Sport 0-0 Go Ahead Eagles
Despite controlling possession and creating the far more dangerous chances, third place Helmond Sport were held to a goalless draw by Go Ahead Eagles.
Helmond Sport's attacking duo of Mark Veldmate and Marc Hocher pressured Sergio Padt's goal throughout, but both were unable to connect cleanly on multiple half-chances.
Charles Kazlauskas entered the game in the 72nd minute for Belgian midfielder Daniel Guijo-Velasco, but could do nothing to break the deadlock.
Though not an ideal result, Helmond Sport will at least be content that the single point inches them even closer to securing a place in the promotion playoffs, as they now enjoy a six point cushion over those battling for the final spot.
Next week they continue their quest when they visit FC Eindhoven.