NAC Breda will battle it out in the relegation/promotion play-offs after spurning a 1-2 lead away at third place chasing AZ. Two late goals from Robert Mühren and Aron Jóhannsson won an exciting encounter.

  • By Michael Statham
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Berghuis azjjffThe away side started the match well, Ajax loanee Ruben Ligeon hit the bar with a left-footed strike. The impressive Steven Berghuis responded for the home side. First of all the winger almost caught out opposing goalkeeper Jelle ten Rouwelaar with a shot within the centre circle, only for the ball to land on the roof of the net. Berghuis then scored with his next attempt, a 20 yarder this time, following a one-two with Aron Jóhannsson to put AZ 1-0 up.

However NAC scored two goals in five minutes to turn the game on its head. Sarpong fired in to equalise after AZ couldn’t clear the ball from their own box and Adnane Tighadouini slotted in his twelfth goal of the season from a corner to put the visitors ahead. At this stage in the game, NAC were only a point behind relegation rivals Excelsior in the table.

The second half saw AZ respond and create many chances. Gouweleeuw, Hupperts and Henriksen were all denied by ten Rouwelaar, but the goalkeeper couldn’t keep out Robert Mühren’s header from a Guus Hupperts cross in the 83rd minute.

Although the game took another twist when Joey Suk struck the bar with a header which could have given NAC three vital points. The miss proved costly as only moments later Aron Jóhannsson hit a stunning 35 yard strike to win all three points for the home side. This puts them level on points with Feyenoord, having played a game more ahead of the Rotterdammers’ clash with Vitesse on Monday evening. Berghuis almost added a fourth but missed a sitter in the dying seconds of the match. Excelsior gained a point in Utrecht which means NAC now face the daunting playoffs over the coming weeks.

Michael Statham (812 Posts)

Writer/interviewer/YouTuber for Football-Oranje. Massive Dutch football fan from the UK. Follow me @EredivisieMike & subscribe to Football-Oranje on YouTube.