RECAP: EXCELSIOR 4 - 2 HELMOND SPORT
Charles Kazlauskas and Helmond Sport fell again in the second led of their playoff with a loss 4-2 to Excelsior.
After getting off to a quick 2-0 lead and having hope of rallying from their huge 5-1 hole after the first leg, it was not to be as Excelsior scored four unanswered to finish off Helmonds promotion hopes 4-2.
Kazlauskas went the full 90 in a losing effort after being subbed out early in the first round matchup.
Helmond knew it was gonna be a rough road all afternoon with the spanking they took at home in the first leg 5-1. It meant they had to play fast looking for 5 goals from the start, and it was just more than the visiting side could handle.
Things started off in a promising manner as Helmond jumped out front early with an 11th minute goal that they had to have to make a run at the huge margin. After a low cross from the right side got to the middle of the box it was softly touched back to a charging Ilja van Leerdam at the top of the box who unloaded a strike to the bottom right corner giving the keeper no chance, and putting Helmond up 1-0.
Staying on pace to eat up the margin Helmond found another goal in the 24th minute when a run up the middle of the defense was cleverly touched out wide to a charging Marc Hocher who hit a hard low shot at the near post from a tight angle. The ball was bobbled by the goalie and slowly crept over the line before the Excelsior keeper could gather it in to double up the Helmond lead 2-0.
The thin hope that Helmond was holding on to was virtually ended just before halftime in the 44th minute when a long deep pass into the box was ran onto by Daan Bovenberg, he gave a half jump, got his foot to the ball and used an easy redirection off his left foot to find himself a goal and put an end to the whatever hopes Helmond may have had.
The game tying goal for Excelsior came in the 58th minute on a dashing run through the Helmond defense by Guyon Fernandez. After taking the ball on the right wing near midfield he beat his initial defender and went darting for the goal beating two more defenders before finally finishing from 16 yards out with a right footed strike into the side netting past a defenseless van Westerop to knot the score at 2.
The third Excelsior goal came just moments later as a deflated Helmond side gave up a corner. A nice inswinging pass found Daan Bovenberg once again as he rose above everyone else and put his header into the top left corner to tally his second goal of the match and the third for the Eredivisie side.
Excelsior finally finished their scoring in the 71st minute when a poor pass back to the midfield was stolen by Excelsior and played out wide to the speedy Gavon Rodriguez who once again raced down the right flank who finally took his shot from 15 yards out at an extremely difficult angle, but managed to tuck it just inside the far post for the final score of the 4-2 win.
It was a cleanly played match as there were no cards shown in front of a crowd of 3000 plus in Rotterdam.
The loss wrapped up the season for Kazlauskas and Helmond. Kazlauskas made 31 appearances on the season for his club as they finished third in the Eerste Divisie standings.