Heracles Almelo promoted, and will return to the Eredivisie
Heracles Almelo was promoted to the Eredivisie on Friday. The team, led by trainer John Lammers, definitively secured one of the top two spots on the Eerste Divisie table by beating Jong PSV 3-0. Heracles was relegated to the second-highest football league, currently named the Keuken Kampioen Divisie, at the conclusion of the last football season.
Ismail Azzaoui put an end to much of the uncertainty by scoring twice in the first half. The Belgian player had a nice first shot nicely on a play involving Samuel Armenteros, then Azzaoui was successful on the rebound, after weak defending from the Eindhoven side. In the previous games from this season, Azzaoui had only found the back of the net one time. With minutes left to play in the second half, Marco Rente made it 3-0.
"At a moment like that, everything shoots through your head," said captain Justin Hoogma on ESPN shortly after the final whistle blew. "We are very happy. It is so nice that we are going back to the Eredivisie after a year. Now, just like last season, the fans came onto the field after the relegation, then it was all so dramatic and bizarre. Fortunately it's all turned around. We're back."
Lammers thinks the promotion is justified. "We have proven throughout the season that we deserve to make the step back to the Eredivisie. I am proud of the players and the staff, not only the technical, but also the medical staff. We did it together. Now we're going to enjoy this, that's also important. Then we'll think about the championship again."
Last week, PEC Zwolle was promoted to the Eredivisie. The Zwolle formation will also return to the highest level after a season away. Zwolle, which defeated FC Dordrecht on Friday (4-0), and Heracles still have to decide in the coming weeks who can call themselves champions of the Eerste Divisie. For the time being, PEC Zwolle has a 3-point lead.
Also in 2005, under the leadership of trainer Peter Bosz, Heracles was promoted to the Eredivisie. The club then played at the highest level until relegation a year ago. In 2016, Heracles even made its debut, albeit briefly, at the European level. Furthermore, in 2012 the formation reached the cup final for the first and so far only time, in which PSV was too strong.
Reporting by ANP