Ajax vs AZ abandoned
Wednesday's action in the KNVB Beker was overshadowed by an ugly incident at the Amsterdam ArenA that forced the abandonment of the clash between Ajax and AZ Alkmaar.
Ajax v AZ Alkmaar abandoned after fan attack
With 37 minutes gone, and with Ajax leading 1-0 thanks to Gregory Van Der Wiel's goal, a supporter ran on to the field and went to attack the AZ goalkeeper Esteban.
The Costa Rican responded by kicking the fan to the ground, with stewards leading the intruder from the field. That was not the end of the controversy, though, with referee Bas Nijhuis sending off the 22-year-old, which prompted a furious reaction on the AZ bench.
AZ coach Gertjan Verbeek responded by calling his players from the field, with them subsequently leaving the ground and forcing Nijhuis to abandon the game.
"Our players did not feel safe on the field," AZ technical director Earnest Stewart said. "We took a shower and went home. We wanted to get inside to take a rest, but when it became clear that the players no longer wanted to continue. This does not belong in football and then we also get a red card. Now it's wait and see what the KNVB does."
Stewart was supported by AZ's general manager Toon Gerbrands, who said: "In my eyes, what Esteban did was a response action. I hope for leniency from the KNVB because it was frightening."
The KNVB were quick to issue a response on their official website. "The cup match Ajax-AZ stopped in the 36th minute," a statement said. "This occurred following an incident on the playing field. The case is submitted to the prosecutor of football. He will see if there is guilty and report his findings.
"There are three options: the game is played [completed], the game is replayed, or the respective position is regarded as the final score."
Things were just as lively in the match between Heerenveen and TOP Oss, although for on-field matters only as the former ran out 11-1 winners.
TOP were not helped by having Dennis Janssen sent off with 27 minutes gone, but they were already 1-0 down by that point thanks to Luciano Narsingh.
Bas Dost scored from the spot after Janssen's dismissal, and goals followed before half-time from Filip Djuricic and Narsingh. It was more of the same after the break, with Sven Kums, Rajiv Van La Parra (two), Djuricic, Darryl Janmaat, Dost and Jeffrey Gouweleeuw all netting. Christopher Bieber scored TOP's consolation.
Elsewhere, NEC Nijmegen saw off Achilles 3-0 thanks to goals from Krisztian Vadocz, John Goosens and Melvin Platje.