Heracles out to attack

BY foxsports • May 20, 2011

The Almelo club won a pulsating first leg 3-2 at the Polman Stadion on Thursday night in a match Bosz' attack-minded side could have won by more had they taken their chances. Swedish striker Samuel Armenteros led the way with a double but Heracles, who had raced into a 2-0 lead after 15 minutes, had to be content with a single-goal victory after Groningen's Leandro Bacuna scored in the second half to minimise the damage ahead of Sunday's return leg. "It was a real battle and easy to enjoy as a coach and lover of the game," coach Bosz said. "It had the intensity of a European tie, but the only annoying thing was that we were unable to win by more than 3-2." Bosz has pledged to attack in the away leg, adding: "In away games we nearly always score, so why not again on Sunday? "If we do that there is a great chance for us to progress. We are full of confidence." Groningen only missed out on securing direct entry to Europe on the final day of the regular season and boss Pieter Huistra admitted the disappointment may have affected his side on Thursday. "We are still in the tie but there is plenty of work to be done," he said. "We need to wake up on Sunday or it will be difficult for us. We have to be sharper and better. We are in front of our own crowd so hopefully that will inspire us." In the other Europa League play-off semi-final ADO Den Haag are favourites to progress after they ignored the formbook to beat Roda JC 4-2. ADO lost their final four games of the season but shot into a three-goal lead inside 23 minutes to steal the initiative. They will, however, be without Dmitri Bulykin for the second leg after he was sent off on Thursday night, although Wesley Verhoek returns from his suspension. Leading goalscorer Mads Junker returns from suspension for Roda to provide them plenty of hope after his 20 goals this season. The second leg of the promotion/relegation semi-final play-offs also take place on Sunday, with Eredivisie clubs VVV-Venlo and Excelsior looking to take the first steps towards retaining their top-flight status. VVV are in a strong position as they take a 2-1 lead into their home tie with Voldendam, but Excelsior are more vulnerable after drawing 3-3 with Den Bosch, who finished eighth in the Eerst Divisie, in their first leg. Should VVV progress they will meet the winner of the other semi-final in their section, between FC Zwolle and Cambuur, for the right to play in next season's top-flight. Cambuur lead 2-1 after their surprise win over Zwolle. Should Excelsior go through they will play either Helmond Sport or Veendam, who drew 3-3 in their first leg ahead of the return in Helmond.

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