Cyril Ngonge kicks AZ with a Van der Vaart-like goal

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Cyril Ngonge kicks AZ with a Van der Vaart-like goal

FC Groningen finished seventh last season, but took off a big jacket last summer. A large part of the basic team left and most of the newcomers had start-up problems, but that has clearly not been the case for Cyril Ngonge who came over from RKC.

The Belgian born in Uccle, who was trained by Club Brugge and previously played for Jong PSV for a year, has had a great start this season. Ngonge also showed himself to be the goldcrest against AZ and then also in a special way. Hanging in the air, the striker worked the ball into the goal on a cross by Mo El Hankouri, giving AZ goalkeeper Peter Vindahl Jensen the check.

Van der Vaart and Carbo

An acrobatic feat that evoked memories of other legendary heel goals such as Rafael van der Vaart as an Ajax player in 2003 against Feyenoord and Willy Carbo as an FC Twente player in 1984 against Go Ahead Eagles. With his piece of art, Ngonge immediately put forward his candidacy for the goal of the year. With his six goals in his first ten matches for FC Groningen, Ngonge has an equally good start in the north as teammate Michael de Leeuw (in his first period). Only Jurrie Koolhof (nine times) and Erik Nevland (eight times) managed to score more in their first ten games.

AZ goalkeeper Peter Vindahl has it checked

ⓒ ANP/HH

Ngonge’s goal came as if called for for FC Groningen, which had a very difficult time with AZ in the previous phase. Vangelis Pavlidis, still unlucky in the striker for the Alkmaarders, headed the post and a few minutes later it was a miracle that AZ did not take the lead after three dangerous attempts in a row, in particular the removal of the ball from the goal line by Bart van Hintum after a header from the same Pavlidis was very important.

Despite the three wins in a row in recent weeks and the successes in Europe, AZ turned out to be mentally vulnerable after the goal against. The Alkmaarders did not succeed in really imposing the will on FC Groningen. There were still some chances, for example, a header by Pantelis Hatzidiakos was again taken off the goal line by Van Hintum, but based on last week’s convincing game against FC Utrecht, more should have been expected from last season’s number three.

Redeeming second goal

FC Groningen showed a lot of fighting spirit and kept looking for the redeeming second goal. That came in the second half through none other than De Leeuw. Since his return to FC Groningen last summer, the veteran had been frantically looking for his first goal and sprinted like a young dog into the depths, where the ball fell just right, also because Vindahl Jensen did not come out convincingly. The 35-year-old attacker celebrated his 47th goal for FC Groningen exuberantly. With this, De Leeuw has now scored as much for the northern club as René Eijkelkamp and he has two other big names from the past, Erwin Koeman and Hennie Meijer, in his sights.

Pantelis Hatzidiakos is shown a yellow card.

ⓒ Pro Shots

More importantly, De Leeuw’s goal secured the victory, ending a series of eight matches without a victory for FC Groningen. Buijs’s team, which had been so furious last week about his team’s performance against Sparta, had only won against SC Cambuur on the first day of play until Sunday. Due to the doubling of the number of victories, FC Groningen has come above the red line, while AZ remains in the middle bracket.

Cyril Ngonge kicks AZ with a Van der Vaart-like goal | Football
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