Groningen made a perfect start to 2019 with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Heracles Almelo.

During the winter break, Groningen made six new signings and three of those started on Saturday. Thomas Bruns, Illias Bel Hassani and Kaj Sierhuis all made their debuts, while Mo El Hankouri and Paul Gladon were on the bench.

The new-look Groningen began well and in the 12th minute, they were awarded a penalty after a handball by Lennart Czyborra. Samir Memisevic made no mistake from the spot.

Heracles had a good chance to equalise before the break but Sergio Padt made a great save to deny Lerin Duarte.

In the second half, Kristoffer Peterson shot wide for the visitors but it was Groningen who continued to dominate. Tim Handwerker and Bruns were denied by Janis Blaswich while Sierhuis shot wide.

In the 74th minute, Groningen finally found a second goal through Bruns, who placed a wonderful shot into the top corner. The midfielder, who is on loan from Vitesse then sealed the victory four minutes later with a strike from the edge of the box.

Groningen climb to 13th with the win while Heracles are 8th.

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