RECAP: MIDWEEK DUTCH ACTION
Aron Johannsson starred for AZ as they advanced in the KNVB Cup while Charles Kazlauskas and Helmond saw a two goal lead slip away in the final minutes, ending their domestic cup campaign.
AZ 4 - 1 Sparta Rotterdam
Courtesy of an Aron Johannsson hat trick, AZ advanced in the KNVB Cup on Wednesday, scoring three goals in added time to beat Sparta Rotterdam.
Johannsson got the scoring started for AZ in the fifth minute. Nemanja Gudelj's low cross from the right navigated it's way through a mess of feet in the penalty area to an unmarked Johannsson at the back post, where the American had to slide in order to put his finish into the back of the net from close range.
Sparta leveled just three minutes later. After AZ failed to clear a corner, Johan Voskamp redirected a teammates shot from the edge of the box into the net with a clever back heel to make it 1-1 in the eighth minute.
Neither side was able to find a winner until Johannsson rose to the occasion one minute into added time. Gudelj supplied the cross on this occasion as well, but this time Johannsson polished off the play with a header to make it 2-1. Johannsson rounded out his hat trick in the 105th minute with Johan Gudmonsson providing the assist. Roy Berghuis completed the scoring for AZ in the 119th minute with a shot which snuck just inside the right post.
AZ start back into Eredivisie action this weekend when they take on PSV.
Ijsselmeervogels 3 - 2 Helmond Sport
Third division Ijsselmeervogels pulled off an extra time upset over Charles Kazlauskas and Helmond Sport, knocking them out of the KNVB Cup.
Helmond got off to the start they'd imagined in the 11th minute when Dave Nieskens put them up 1-0. Kevin Visser sent a corner whizzing into the box which Kazlauskas fired towards net. En route to the net, Nieskens was able to redirect it for the goal.
Nieskens added a second goal in the 43rd minute off of a Koen Weuts free kick, making it 2-0 going into half. The scoreline nearly lasted but persistent Ijsselmeervogels continued to generate chances, and eventually broke through in the 88th minute. Nick Kuipers free kick took a deflection off of Kazlauskas, leaving Helmond keeper Wouter van der Steen no hope to cut Helmond's lead in half. Mark Rutgers grabbed the equalizer for Ijsselmeervogels in the 90th minute to send the game to extra time.
Ijsselmeervogels took all the momentum into the extra frames, and Thomas Verheijdt secured the result for the hosts in the 110th minute. Verheijdt ran past the Helmond backline and onto a long ball, which he finished past the onrushing van der Steen to send the underdogs on to the third round while Helmond were sent packing against a lower division team for the second consecutive year.
Helmond resume play in the Eerste Divisie against Almere City on Friday.