RECAP: WEEKEND DUTCH ACTION
Jozy Altidore looked good in his first game in almost a month, helping struggling AZ beat Vitesse while Charles Kazlauskas and Helmond tied for the third consecutive game.
Vitesse 1 - 2 AZ
Jozy Altidore was an active participant throughout the entire game for AZ as they took down third place Vitesse on the road.
AZ grabbed the lead in the 39th minute thanks to Roy Beerens. Donny Gorter sent a deep cross in from the left which found Beerens at the far post. Unmarked, the 24 year old Dutchman sent a well-placed header into the top right corner of the net.
Shortly thereafter, Altidore had a chance to make it 2-0 when Beerens broke through the Vitesse backline and crossed for the big Floridian in the center of the box. Altidore attempted to volley the cross with his left foot, but he couldn't manage to put it on net.
Vitesse began to assert themselves in the second half and their persistence paid off in the 72nd minute. Chelsea loanee Gael Kakuta sent a powerful low cross into the box which wove it's way through the AZ defense and onto the left foot of Marco van Ginkel who redirected it into the net to knot the score.
The day belonged to AZ though and Altidore provided the winning assist in the 88th minute. The 22 year old played a pass over the top of the Vitesse defense to Johann Gudmonsson and the Icelandic winger ran free at net until he unleashed a fierce left footed shot from the top of the box which beat the diving Piet Velthuizen.
AZ take on third tier VV SWZ Boso Sneek in the Dutch Cup on Thursday while Vitesse face Staphorst Wednesday.
Emmen 1 - 1 Helmond Sport
Charles Kazlauskas went the full 90 once again as Helmond Sport got their third draw in a row against Emmen on Friday.
Kazlauskas was again forced out of the holding midfield role which coach Eric Meijers has favored him in this season as he lined up in central defense.
Emmen were able to take the lead in the 61st minute. Kevin Gortz shot was turned away by Helmond keeper Wouter van der Steen. However, the rebound deflected to Emmen striker Eldridge Rojer who was able to pass to a wide open Wout Weghorst who applied to simple finish for the 1-0 lead.
Kazlauskas helped save the day for his team three minutes into stoppage time. Foraying from deep, the Milwaukee native was in possession in the Emmen penalty area when he was chopped down by Gortz. The Emmen defender was red carded and Daniel Guijo Velasco buried the ensuing penalty.
Helmond resume Eerste Divisie play next Friday when they host Cambuur while Emmen take on Rijnsburgse Boys in the Dutch Cup on Tuesday.