Ajax 2, Feyenoord 0 (Eredivisie, Feb. 15, 2009): In the battle of the former heavyweights in Holland, Ajax broke the deadlock in the 51st minute when poor Feyenoord defending allowed a free kick to be converted by Thomas Vermaelen. In the final stage the visitors had Dwight Tiendalli sent off, and Urby Emanuelson rounded off a good day for the Amsterdammers with a second in injury time.
NEC 1, Heerenveen 1 (Eredivisie, Feb. 15, 2009—longer highlights here): Heerenveen’s new Swedish import Viktor Elm continued to settle in fast at his new club, heading in the opener at NEC after just three minutes. NEC levelled with a Youssef El Akchaoui penalty after keeper Vandenbussche flattened Janssen in the box.
Groningen 2, Heracles 0 (Eredivisie, Feb. 15, 2009): Gonzalo Garcia put the hosts ahead after 40 minutes with a shot from the edge of the box, and two minutes later his free kick into the area was converted by Marcus Berg.
Sparta 0, Vitesse 0 (Eredivisie, Feb. 15, 2009): In a drab clash between two teams hovering just outside the relegation zone, neither side could find a way through as strikers at both ends were guilty of poor finishing.
Porto 3, Rio Ave 1 (Superliga, Feb. 15, 2009): Lucho Gonzalez’s first half penalty gave Porto the lead, but it was cancelled out by Fabio Coentrao’s screamer in the 72nd minute, which ripped into the top corner. But Porto staged a late fight, Ernesto Farias restored the lead from Gonzalez’s cross in the 86th, and the forward completed the win three minutes later from a pass by Lopez, who had entered the field in the 74th.
Benfica 3, Pacos Ferreira 2 (Superliga, Feb. 15, 2009): Oscar Cardozo put the Eagles in the lead in the 69th after an error of judgment by Pacos keeper Cassio. Ruben Amorim extended Benfica’s lead with a curling shot in the 73rd, but the visitors pulled a goal back through Jose Ferreira two minutes later. Angel Di Maria scored the third goal in the 87th with a wonderful long-range shot before Chico Silva’s injury time goal set up a nervous ending for Benfica.
Trofense 2, Naval 2 (Superliga, Feb. 15, 2009)
Maritimo 1, Amadora 0 (Superliga, Feb. 14, 2009): Jose Ytalo's well-struck shot just before the break was the difference between the sides.
Charleroi 0, Anderlecht 1 (Jupiler League, Feb. 15, 2009): Anderlecht needed a solitary goal to win in Charleroi, and it was Hungarian defender Roland Juhasz who provided the decider on 49 minutes. Anderlecht are now two points behind leaders Standard de Liege, but do have a game in hand.
OFI Crete 1, Asteras Tripolis 1 (Greek Super League, Feb. 15, 2009): Zdravko Popovic’s free kick missed everyone to nestle in the net for Crete’s opener. But Marcelao brought the visitors level with an equalising penalty at the start of the second half.
Panthrakikos 0, Larisa 1 (Greek Super League, Feb. 15, 2009): Stelios Giannakopoulos’ return to Greek football with Larissa continues to prove profitable, as the midfielder bagged his third goal for Larissa against Panthrakikos with a back post volley.
Panserraikos 1, Xanthi 0 (Greek Super League, Feb. 15, 2009)
Iraklis 0, Panathinaikos 0 (Greek Super League, Feb. 15, 2009)
Luzern 2, Young Boys 3 (Swiss Super League, Feb. 15, 2009)
Apollon 0, APOEL 1 (Cypriot First Division, Feb. 15, 2009)
AEK Larnaca 5, Atromitos 0 (Cypriot First Division, Feb. 15, 2009)