Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Holland: Alkmaar belatedly triumph over Ajax in cup replay

Posted in European Football by peterbein on January 19, 2012

Dutch CupThe KNVB Beker (Dutch Cup) clash between Ajax Amsterdam and AZ Alkmaar, which was suspended due to an attack on AZ keeper Esteban Alvarado in the initial encounter, was completed today in the Amsterdam ArenA with the home side going down to a 3-2 defeat.

Siem de Jong gave Ajax the lead as early as the 10th minute only for the visitors to restore parity fourteen minutes later through Maarten Martins. AZ were then able to take the lead in the 32nd minute with Charlison Benschop getting his name on the score sheet only for the hosts to peg back six minutes before the break with de Jong grabbing his second goal of the game and that was how the game finished after a lively first half.

The second half, by way of contrast, only saw one more goal with Rasmus Elm netting the crucial strike from the penalty spot in the 55th minute to give Alkmaar a sense of justice following the first game which saw their players leave the pitch following the attack on Alvarado. Ajax, on the other hand, would be forgiven for thinking of what might’ve been as they had lead in the initial tie with a 1-0 score line after 38 minutes before the game had to be abandoned.

AZ Alkmaar’s reward for reaching the last eight of the competition is a quarter-final match against third-tier GVVV Veenendaal. The other games at this stage will see PSV Eindhoven take on NEC Nijmegen, Heracles Almelo at home to RKC Waalwijk and Vitesse Arnhem host SC Heerenveen. The games are due to take place on January 31st.

Holland: Keeper’s red card rescinded; holders Twente out (video)

Posted in European Football by peterbein on December 23, 2011
Esteban Alvarado

AZ keeper Esteban Alvarado was sent off following this incident on Wednesday

AZ Alkmaar goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado has had his red card from Wednesday’s Round of 16 KNVB Beker (Dutch Cup) match against Ajax Amsterdam rescinded.

The keeper was attacked by an Ajax fan only for Esteban to retaliate on the attacker by kicking him whilst he was on the ground, a response which was deemed inappropriate by referee Bas Nijhuis who then sent off the keeper much to the astonishment and fury of the AZ players and staff. AZ coach Gert Jan Verbeek brought his team off the pitch and, with Ajax leading 1-0 at the time of abandonment, it is not yet known whether or when the game will be replayed.  Ajax have identified the fan who has now been given a lifetime ban.

On a footballing note KNVB Beker holders FC Twente Enschede were knocked out of the competition suffering a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of PSV Eindhoven. All of the goals were scored in extra-time with Slovenian striker Tim Matavž proving to be the hero as he bagged both goals for PSV in his side’s win.

Europe: Twente shock Ajax; Cup Finals Review (+video)

Posted in European Football by peterbein on May 9, 2011

There were a multitude of cup finals taking place over Europe this weekend with the biggest of them in Holland. FC Twente Enschede put a marker ahead of their crucial championship showdown in Amsterdam by beating Ajax in extra-time. There were also cup wins for Slovan Bratislava, Llanelli AFC, Linfield FC and UE Sant Julià.

With two crucial games in the space of a week Ajax coach Frank De Boer and his Twente counterpart Michel Preud’homme would be in no doubt as to which of those games they would rather win but Sunday’s KNVB Beker (Dutch Cup) final proved to be an exciting hors d’oeuvres ahead of next weekend’s main course. Ajax, record winners of the trophy with 18 wins, got off to a great start going 2-0 up by the 40th minute with Demy de Zeeuw and Lorenzo Ebecilio getting on the score sheet. FC Twente, however, pulled one back on the stroke of half-time through Wout Brama and this handed the initiative back to Preud’homme’s side. The second half saw Twente restore parity in the 56th minute thanks to Theo Janssen and this was how the game remained until the end of the game. Extra-time was needed and an inspired substitution from Twente proved to be the difference between the two teams as Marc Janko, who made his entrance for the second half of added time, scored the winner with just three minutes to play and secured Twente’s third cup success.


In Slovakia there was an exciting final between the country’s two biggest clubs. Slovan Bratislava, defending cup holders going into this season’s competition, met MŠK Žilina who, despite having won four league championships in the last decade, had never won the Slovenský Pohár (Slovak Cup). They may have fancied their chances at half-time going in 2-1 to the good thanks to goals from Štefan Zošák and Ivan Lietava cancelling out Slovan’s opening goal from Martin Guldan. Filip Šebo equalized for Slovan in the second half of regular time and then gave his side the lead with just seven minutes of extra-time remaining. Just as it looked like Slovan could get the champagne out Žilina scored at the death thanks to Patrik Mráz and took the game to the lottery of a penalty shoot out. Slovan Bratislava held their nerve to come through a tense shoot out by five goals to four and helped themselves to a second successive cup win.

David Jeffrey

Linfield FC coach David Jeffrey celebrates his team's Irish Cup win

There were also cup finals in Wales, Northern Ireland and Andorra. Bangor City, following their Welsh Premier League success eight days earlier (see “Away Days” section), were hoping to secure their first ever league and cup double but their opponents Llanelli AFC had other ideas. Perhaps the emotion of the league success had taken its toll on Bangor as they never looked like claiming the cup once Llanelli took a 2-0 half-time lead through Rhys Griffiths and Craig Moses. Although Bangor City’s Alan Bull pulled one back in the second half the game was over as a contest once Griffiths and Chris Venables added further to Llanelli’s tally to help the club win their first Welsh Cup title. In Northern Ireland record champions Linfield FC, who celebrated winning their 50th league championship in the previous week, extended their success in the nation’s knockout tournament too. Linfield won their 41st Irish Cup with Peter Thompson and Mark McAllister finding the back of the net in a 2-1 win over Crusaders FC. Finally in Andorra UE Sant Julià got some revenge for losing out on the league title to UE Santa Coloma by beating the champions 3-1 in extra-time. Goals from Varela, Salvat and Iguacel helped secure UE Sant Julià their third Copa Constitució.

Europe: L’OM through to final; Real defeat Atleti; Cups Review

Posted in European Football, UK Football by peterbein on January 21, 2011

There’s been plenty more action in European domestic cup competitions this week including the French League Cup semi-finals, Coppa Italia, English and Scottish FA Cup replays as well as the completion of the German Cup 3rd round following the postponement of two games in December due to bad weather. With further played in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey Stoppage Time reviews the best of the action.

Montpellier HSC and Olympique Marseille will contest the 17th Coupe de la Ligue final in April after chalking up respective victories over Paris Saint Germain and AJ Auxerre in the semi-finals. An Olivier Giroud goal in second half extra-time proved the difference as Montpellier reached the tournament showpiece. Marseille, the defending champions, reached consecutive finals having put AJ Auxerre to the sword with a 2-0 win with goals from Brandao and Gignac.

The Derby della Capitale took centre stage in the Coppa Italia as AS Roma and SS Lazio faced off in another typically feisty derby match. A goal from Simplicio in the 77th minute gave AS Roma the win after both teams had scored from the penalty spot early in the second half. Napoli sealed their place on Tuesday with a 2-1 home win against Bologna whilst Wednesday saw Sampdoria go through via a penalty shoot out at home to Udinese. The one game on Thursday night witnessed an easy win for AC Milan over AS Bari with the San Siro side going through 3-0 thanks to goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexander Merkel and Robinho.

Copa del Rey holders Sevilla FC became the first team to qualify for the semi-finals on Tuesday defeating Villarreal 3-0 in the second leg of their quarter-final tie, going through 6-3 on aggregate. Goals from Renato, Freddie Kanoute and Alexis gave the Andalucians a semi-final tie against Real Madrid who recorded a 1-0 victory on Thursday over local rivals Atletico Madrid. Second division Real Betis made a brave attempt to claw back a five goal deficit against record holders FC Barcelona but, in the end, the Catalans went through 6-3 on aggregate despite losing the second leg 3-1. Barcelona look forward to a meeting with Almeria who disposed of Deportivo 4-2 on aggregate.

There were replays in England’s FA Cup with Premier League teams getting the better of lower league opponents. The biggest game saw eleven times winners Arsenal FC defeat Leeds United 3-1 at the latter’s Elland Road stadium on Wednesday thanks to Samir Nasri, Bacary Sagna and Robin van Persie. On Tuesday there were wins for Manchester City (4-2 v Leicester City), Wolverhampton Wanderers (5-0 v Doncaster Rovers) and Stoke City (2-0 v Cardiff City) giving the top-flight plenty of representation in the oncoming 5th round.

In the Scottish Cup there was a big shock on Tuesday as third tier Ayr United got the better of SPL side Hibernian FC by a Mark Roberts goal to nil piling the pressure on the Easter Road side who have not enjoyed a good season. Dundee United ultimately got the better of second tier Ross County winning 4-3 in a penalty shoot out in a repeat of the 2010 Scottish Cup final. There were also wins for Dunfermline Athletic (5-3 v Montrose), St Mirren (6-1 v Peterhead) and Partick Thistle (1-0 v Falkirk FC) whilst drawn matches involving Stenhousemuir/Stranraer (0-0) and Greenock Morton/Airdrie United (2-2) will have to be replayed at a later date.

Tuesday saw the completion of the Round of 16 in the KNVB Beker with wins for Eredivisie sides Groningen FC, RKC Waalwijk, NAC Breda and VV Noordwijk. They saw off determined opponents in the form of SC Genemuden, Achilles 29 Groesbeek, Telstar Velsen and Sparta Nijkerk respectively.

There were just two matches to play in the Round of 16 in Germany’s DFB Pokal with top flight sides securing wins over lower league opposition in games postponed from before Christmas due to bad weather. Srdjan Lakic was the hero for 1.FC Kaiserslautern scoring a hat-trick in his club’s 4-1 win over TuS Koblenz whilst a brace for Timmy Simons sealed progress for 2007 cup winners 1.FC Nurnberg in their 2-0 victory against 3. Liga side Kickers Offenbach.

Two matches were played in the group stage of the Turkiye Kupasi, one of which saw Galatasaray secure their passage to the quarter-final stages following a goalless draw away at Antalyaspor in their roup A encounter. In Group C capital club Ankaragucu still have a chance of progressing to the last eight following a Monday night 1-1 draw at home to Bucaspor. The visitors have now completed their group campaign and currently lie in second place but a win for Ankaragucu in their final match against Yeni Malatyaspor will see them take Bucaspor’s spot.

The Kypello Elladas saw the quarter-final first legs played out, amongst the four ties were two of the Greek games classic fixtures. Defending cup holders Panathinaikos fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of capital rivals AEK Athens whilst record cup winners Olympiakos Piraeus could only draw a north/south grudge match 1-1 against PAOK Thessaloniki. Olympiakos Volou have one foot in the semi-final draw having won 2-0 away at AO Kerkyra whilst on Thursday Atromitos got the better of Diagoras Rhodes FC by a similar scoreline.

In Portugal’s Taça da Liga the group stages are in full swing with two rounds of games completed in each of the four third-round groups which will determine who this year’s semi-finalists will be. Group A is led by Nacional who hold a three point advantage over FC Porto after beating Gil Vicente 4-1 on Wednesday. Two-time winners SL Benfica, Paços de Ferreira and Sporting top groups B, C and D respectively.

The Kypello Kyprou on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus saw the conclusion of three of the eight Round of 16 ties this week with the stand-out fixture between Apollon Limassol and APOEL Nicosia with the former winning 3-1 on aggregate following a 2-0 home success on Wednesday. There were also wins for Ethnikos Achnas and AEK Larnaca with respective wins over Ermis Aradippou and Doxa Katakopias.

Europe: Big wins for Bayern and Real Madrid; Cups Review

Posted in European Football by peterbein on December 23, 2010
Miroslav Klose

Miroslav Klose scored twice in FC Bayern's 6-3 win over VfB Stuttgart

To finish the year there has been domestic cup action this week throughout Europe. Some matches were called off due to bad weather in northern Europe including the entire first leg fixture list in Belgium’s Coupe Cofidis but, overall, there has been good quality football played in Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain and Turkey. Stoppage Time – International Football Blog reviews the best of the action:

GERMANY: Schalke 04 scraped through by the skin of their teeth against 2. Liga outfit FC Augsburg with the Gelsenkirchen side going through 1-0 courtesy of a Jefferson Farfan goal with just six minutes remaining. TSG 1899 Hoffenheim also put their name in the hat for the last eight with a 2-0 home win over Borussia Mönchengladbach with Gylfi Sigurðsson and Demba Ba doing the damage. On Wednesday cup holders FC Bayern went to VfB Stuttgart for the second time in three days and were involved in a humdinger of a game. Having put five past their hosts in the league game on Sunday, FC Bayern went one better as they beat the Swabians with a 6-3 scoreline. The biggest shock of the round came in Lower Saxony where English coach Steve McClaren is under increasing pressure after seeing VfL Wolfsburg go out against 2. Liga side Energie Cottbus. There were also wins for MSV Duisburg (2-1 over 1.FC Köln) and Alemania Aachen who prevailed 5-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt. The games involving Kickers Offenbach v 1.FC Nürnberg and TuS Koblenz v 1.FC Kaiserslautern were postponed due to bad weather.

GREECE: In the Kypello Elladas defending cup holders Panathinaikos got the better of tricky opponents Trikala FC by 3-2 on Wednesday whilst local rivals Olympiakos Piraeus scraped through their game away at Asteras Tripolis with Spanish striker Ariel Ibagaza scoring the winner late in the game with four minutes remaining. Their namesakes Olympiakos Volou are through following a 2-1 win at home to Panserraikos on Tuesday whilst PAOK Thessaloniki, fresh from their UEFA Europa League exploits, also qualified for the quarter-finals with a 2-1 home win against PAS Ioannina. Atrmoitos beat AO Kavala 1-0 in the remaining game already played this week whilst three games take place this evening, the pick of the games being the meeting of Super League Greece sides Larissa and AEK Athens.

NETHERLANDS: There were easy wins this week for FC Twente and PSV Eindhoven. The former wrapped up a convincing 5-0 home destruction of Vitesse Arnhem whilst the latter conjured up a 3-1 win away at Roda JC Kerkrade. The only other game so far this week saw FC Utrecht get the better of FC Volendam by a goal to nil at home. Tonight sees defending champions Ajax Amsterdam face a tough home test against AZ Alkmaar but the game between this season’s surprise package in the Eredivisie, FC Groningen, and SC Genemuiden is now postponed becuase of the weather. The other three games in this round will be played in mid-January.

Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema scored in Real Madrid's win over Levante CF

SPAIN: It was a job well done for Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey Round of 16, first leg as they held FC Barcelona to a goalless draw in the Camp Nou on Tuesday in a match pitting the two most successful Copa del Rey winners against each other. Valencia were also involved in a goalless draw against local rivals Villarreal whilst a night of drawn games was completed on Tuesday with Deportivo La Coruña’s 1-1 draw at Cordoba CF. On Wednesday there were wins for last season’s finalists Sevilla FC (5-3 v Malaga CF) and Atlético de Madrid (1-0 v RCD Espanyol) while Real Madrid easily saw off Levante CF by an 8-0 scoreline, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo both bagging a hat-trick apiece. The other two matches this week saw a victories for UD Almería (4-3 v Real Mallorca) and Getafe (2-1 away at Real Betis).

TURKEY: The Kupasi Türkiye has reached the last 16 stage. It has a group stage, unlike most other domestic knockout competitions, where the teams have been split into four groups of five teams. In Group A both Gaziantepspor and Galatasaray top the standings with four points from two games following their meeting on Tuesday where they both gained a point from a 1-1 draw. Beşiktaş are only in third place in Group B but they did chalk up their first win of the group with a 3-2 victory over second place Konya Sekerspor whilst Trabzonspor are in fourth having only drawn 2-2 at home to Gaziantep. The biggest surprise so far is that Fenerbahçe lie rock bottom in Group C having lost both of their two opening games against Ankaragücü and, on Tuesday, against first place Bucaspor. Group D saw league champions Bursaspor top the standings, defeating Karsiyaka Izmir 2-0 on Tuesday.