AZ hit Den Haag for six

Published on 09 februari 12, 00:00
DEN HAAG-. Charlison Benschop struck a hat-trick at the Kyocera Stadion to inspire AZ to a thumping 0-6 win over ADO Den Haag on Wednesday night. Maarten Martens netted the fourth goal of the night, while substitute Jozy Altidore scored twice in the closing stages.

Temperatures in Holland may be below zero, but AZ have turned up the heat on PSV in the Eredivisie title race. PSV dropped two points last weekend and AZ knew they would go level on points with the Eindhoven outfit at the top of the table with a win in Den Haag. Gertjan Verbeek´s team dominated the game but failed to take their chances in the first half. At the other end, Tjaronn Chery and Lex Immers threatened AZ´s goal. AZ took a deserved lead in the 33rd minute, when Benschop headed home Brett Holman’s cross.

Benschop doubled AZ´s lead two minutes after the restart with a left-foot shot, boosting AZ´s confidence and dashing ADO Den Haag´s hopes of getting a good result. Playing some good free-flowing football, the visitors created numerous chances. Benschop became the new goal-scoring hero as the striker completed his hat-trick with a right-foot effort after 69 minutes.

Substitute Johann Berg Gudmundsson set up Martens to score the fourth goal, while Altidore, who had come on for Benschop, scored twice in the closing stages. Holman played Altidore clean through and the American striker’s finish was impeccable. When ADO keeper Coutinho could not hold on to Adam Maher´s shot, Altidore scored on the rebound: 0-6

Chery was the only ADO Den Haag player who threatened Esteban´s goal but the AZ keeper was in good form and kept another clean sheet. AZ, who have conceded the fewest goals in the Eredivisie, will be next in match action on Saturday when they welcome Excelsior at the AFAS Stadion in Alkmaar.

AZ coach Gertjan Verbeek hailed his team’s spirit. “We took a deserved lead on a tough pitch”, said Gertjan Verbeek at the post-match conference. “We put in a spirited second-half performance and were lucky to score the second goal early in the second half. A 0-6 win is an excellent result but it’s also a morale-boosting victory.” When asked about Benschop, Verbeek replied: “Scoring three goals, Charlie did a good job. He surely benefits from Piet Keur´s coaching tips for strikers.”

ADO Den Haag line-up: Gino Coutinho; Kevin Visser (68. Ebi Smolarek), Gábor Horváth (56. Ahmed Ammi), Chiro N'Toko, Christian Supusepa; Lex Immers, Ali Boussabon (78. Filip Luksik), Jens Toornstra; Charlton Vicento, John Verhoek, Tjaronn Chery.
AZ line-up: Esteban; Dirk Marcellis, Niklas Moisander, Nick Viergever (77. Ragnar Klavan), Simon Poulsen; Adam Maher, Rasmus Elm, Maarten Martens; Roy Beerens (68. Johann Berg Gudmundsson), Charlison Benschop (76. Jozy Altidore), Brett Holman.

Goals: 33. Benschop 0-1, 47. Benschop 0-2, 69. Benschop 0-3, 73. Martens 0-4, 85. Altidore 0-5, 88. Altidore 0-6.
Booked: Supusepa (ADO Den Haag).
Sent off: -
Referee: Kevin Blom
Attendance: 8,756

Photos: Ed van de Pol /