Ajax were held to a draw by struggling Roda and Twente share the spoils with Zwolle while Willem II fall further adrift at the bottom with a defeat to Heracles
ADO 2-1 NAC
ADO recovered from last weekend’s humiliation at the hands of PSV with a 2-1 victory over relegation battlers NAC on Saturday night.
The hosts got off to a bright start but Nebojsa Gudelj’s created some danger with their quick counter attacks. NAC striker Ricky ten Voorde had the first clear opportunity of the game but he was denied by goalkeeper Gino Coutinho.
ADO took the lead five minutes into the second-half when a poor clearance from a corner fell to Charlton Vicento who slammed it into the bottom corner. Tjaronn Chery then doubled his side’s lead as he ran onto Kevin Jansen’s fantastic through ball and tucked it past Jelle ten Rouwelaar.
With eight minutes left on the clock, Ten Voorde halved the deficit for his side with a header to knock Jordy Buijs’s free-kick into the net.
HEERENVEEN 2-2 VVV
Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen came back from two goals down to rescue a vital point against struggling VVV.
The Frisian side dominated possession from the early stages but could not threaten Niki Manepaa’s goal.
Uche Nwofor headed the Venlo club into the lead after 36 minutes, diverting Barry Maguire’s cross into the back of the net.
A Kristoffer Nordfeldt blunder lead to VVV increasing their advantage when the Heerenveen goalkeeper failed to deal with Marcel Seip’s header midway through the second period.
Just one minute later, however, Lukas Miracek brought the home side back into the game with a simple shot past Maenpaa during a period of intense pressure from Heerenveen.
Van Basten’s men continued to press in search of the equaliser and their persistence paid off right at the death when Alfred Finnbogasonequalised for his side.
GRONINGEN 2-1 RKC
Penalties decided the match between Groningen and RKC as the hosts came from behind to claim a victory through a double from the spot from Genero Zeefuik.
RKC went ahead against the run of play 24 minutes into the match as Kees Kwakman brought down Florian Jozefzoon inside the box, leaving referee Pieter Vink with no choice but to award a penalty. Robert Braber stepped up and coolly converted the spot kick.
Robert Maaskant’s side equalised just eight minutes later as Zeefuik netted his first penalty after Vink judged that Henrico Drost had intentionally blocked Andraz Kirm’s shot with his hand.
Rasmus Lindgren looked to have given Groningen the lead after the break with a free-kick which struck the underside of the bar and bounced behind the line and then came back out but the officials did not award the goal.
Groningen were afforded another opportunity to take the lead thanks to Guy Ramos who came on as a substitute but was sent off just 25 seconds later for a foul in the box on Michael de Leeuw and Zeefuikagain stepped up and beat Arjan van Dijk.
HERACLES 4-1 WILLEM II
Heracles avoided an upset as they beat Willem II 4-1, despite going a goal down to the bottom club after just six minutes.
The visitors went a goal to the good through Niek Vossebelt as he controlled a superb pass, rounded Heracles goalkeeper Remko Pasveer and slid it into the net.
Willem II began to sit back and defend their lead but it lasted only 13 minutes as Marko Vejinovic levelled matters with a header from a Christian Dorda cross. Then Vejinovic became the creator as he set up Thomas Bruns seven minutes later and the youngster knocked it past Willem II goalkeeper David Meul.
Lerin Duarte put his side 3-1 up just before half-time with a wonderful free-kick about which Meul could do nothing but watch it sail into the net.
Bruns killed the game off just 15 minutes into the second period as he made it 4-1 to the Almelo club, leaving Willem II three points adrift at the bottom of the table.
VITESSE 2-2 PSV
PSV twice let slip a one-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Wilfried Bony inspired Vitesse in the Gelredome.
Vitesse almost took an early lead in spectacular fashion when Bony, playing in his first game since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations, directed Theo Janssen’s free-kick towards goal with an overhead kick but he was kept out by the crossbar.
PSV then began to take control of the game and went ahead after 19 minutes through a Dries Mertens penalty after he was brought down by Frank van der Struijk inside the box.
Vitesse rarely threatened throughout the match but pulled level with 13 minutes left in the game as Mike Havenaar was pulled to the ground by Marcelo in the box and Bony was able to convert the resultant penalty.
PSV’s lead was restored just one minute later, however, when Tim Matavz played a neat pass through to Georginio Wijnaldum and the 22-year-old blasted into the bottom corner for his 12th goal of the season.
Bony came to Vitesse’s rescue once again as Patrick van Aanholt chipped into the box and the Ivorian frontman headed past Boy Waterman and into the net with ease to earn a vital point for his side.
UTRECHT 0-3 NEC
NEC picked up their third successive victory with a 3-0 win over Utrecht on Sunday.
Melvin Platje put the visitors ahead 15 minutes into the game when he capitalised on an Edouard Duplan error and smashed in the opener.
Utrecht had chances to equalise as Jacob Mulenga was denied by the bar early in the second-half and Cedric van der Gun squandered an opportunity shortly afterwards.
It was two players on loan at NEC from AZ who would make the difference, as Erik Falkenburg hit the net with five minutes remaining and, deep into injury time, Ruud Boymansscored to make it 3-0 to Alex Pastoor’s side.
AJAX 1-1 RODA
Ajax passed up the opportunity to go within one point of league leaders PSV as they were held to a 1-1 draw with Roda.
The reigning Eredivisie champions saw more of the ball straight from kick-off but failed to capitalise on their dominance and put pressure on Filip Kurto’s goal. Full-backs Ricardo van Rhijn and Daley Blind had the home side’s best chances but they were denied by the Roda shot stopper.
It was the struggling visitors who opened the scoring six minutes before the break when Adil Ramzi rounded off a nice counter-attacking move with a shot which beat Kenneth Vermeer.
Isaac Cuenca, on loan from Barcelona, picked up an assist on his debut when he seized a loose ball inside the box and dodged two defenders to put Blind through on goal and the young left-back slid in the equaliser.
Substitute Kolbeinn Sigthorsson came close to securing the three points for the Amsterdam giants but his shot struck the crossbar and Roda held on for a point.
FEYENOORD 3-1 AZ
Feyenoord leapfrogged Twente into third place with a 3-1 win over AZ in Rotterdam.
Ronald Koeman’s side went 1-0 up 24 minutes in when Joris Mathijsen’s long ball was headed down to Graziano Pelle and the Italian frontman teed it up for 18-year-old Jean-Paul Boetius who curled it in from outside the area.
Roy Beerens equalised for the Alkmaar side after 63 minutes with a shot which flew past Erwin Mulder with the assistance of a Bruno Martins Indi deflection. The task got much more difficult for AZ, however, as two minutes after equalising, they went down to 10 men when Nick Viergever was shown a red card for a tackle on Lex Immers.
Jordy Clasie’s low drive from the 18-yard line then restored Feyenoord’s lead before Tonny Vilhena made it 3-1 to the Rotterdam club with a goal in stoppage time after he was set up by Boetius.
ZWOLLE 1-1 TWENTE
Twente slipped to fourth place in the league after surrendering an early lead to draw 1-1 with Zwolle.
Twente were the better team in the opening minutes and Serbian forward Dusan Tadic fired Steve McClaren’s side ahead after just 11 minutes, taking a Leroy Fer pass and knocking it past Diederik Boer.
Fred Benson came close to equalising for Zwolle but saw his headed effort go just wide of the post moments before Giovanni Gravenbeek fired high over the bar.
Zwolle continued to press in search of the equaliser and created more chances than their opponents. The hosts were awarded a penalty in the final ten minutes as Denni Avdic went down under a Leroy Fer challenge in the box and buried the resultant penalty to level the score.
Art Langeler’s side almost made it 2-1 in the dying minutes as Youness Mokhtar went one-on-one with Nikolay Mihaylov but the Bulgarian goalkeeper pulled off a vital save for the Enschede side.