Reigning champions Ajax came back to beat Roda 2-1 while Feyenoord overcame AZ and Heerenveen settled for a point against VVV
Nebojsa Gudelj’s tenure as NAC coach did not get off to a great start as they lost 3-0 to ADO Den Haag on Friday night.
NAC looked dangerous from the early stages as Anthony Lurling had one shot blocked and Jordy Buijs looked to have put his side in the lead but his goal was disallowed for a handball.
It took half an hour for the away side to impose themselves on the match, as their first opportunity came through a Mike van Duinen shot which was saved by Jelle ten Rouwelaar.
The opening goal of the game came on the hour mark when Tom Beugelsdijk tucked a corner past Ten Rouwelaar. Tjaronn Chery made it 2-0 with a neat shot which beat the NAC goalkeeper.
The Breda side then found themselves down to ten men when Sepp de Roover was shown a straight red card and Rydell Poepon stepped up to convert the resultant penalty.
NEC 2-0 UTRECHT
NEC are now level on points with Utrecht after they defeated Jan Wouters’ side 2-0 at the Goffert Stadion.
Alex Pastoor’s men attacked their opponents from the first whistle and went a goal up 16 minutes into the match when Mark van der Maarel completely mistimed a tackle, giving Leroy George plenty of time down the left wing as he charged into the box and shot towards goal. His shot was saved by Robbin Ruiter but Rick ten Voorde smacked in the rebound.
The away side almost equalised soon after when Alexander Gerndt fired a shot towards Gabor Babos but it was blocked by defender Michel Breuer.
Ruiter gifted NEC their second of the game when he placed the ball on the ground, forgetting that Soren Rieks was behind him. The midfielder stole the ball and passed to Melvin Platje who put it away from outside the area.
Tommy Oar came close to halving the deficit as Utrecht looked for a way back into the game, but any hope they had of sparking a comeback was killed off when Dave Bulthuis was dismissed for his second yellow card in eight minutes.
RKC 1-1 GRONINGEN
Ard van Peppen’s late goal earned a point for RKC as they played out a 1-1 draw with Groningen.
Chances were few and far between in the first-half as Virgil van Dijk and Teddy Chevalier exchanged weak efforts. Then, Robert Braber thought he had successfully deceived the referee when he put the ball in the net with his hand. But Maarten Ketting spotted the handball immediately and the score remained level.
The first goal came two minutes before half-time when Van Dijk sent a diagonal cross into the RKC box which was finished off by Kees Kwakman.
RKC pressed more in the second-half but Groningen made it difficult for them by restricting the space.
Their persistence paid off, however, when Chevalier collected the ball down the left side and passed to Van Peppen who combined with Mart Lieder inside the box before slamming home to earn a deserved point for his side.
VVV 1-1 HEERENVEEN
VVV and Heerenveen shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw on Saturday night.
Heerenveen enjoyed the majority of possession from very early on but were kept at bay by a defensive VVV who looked dangerous on the counter attack.
It was Ton Lokhoff’s side who came closest to finding the first goal when Ricky van Haaren smacked the bar with a shot from a free kick.
It took 56 minutes for the opening goal to be scored and, somewhat surprisingly, it was the hosts who went ahead. Yanic Wildschut drove towards goal and had three attempts to find the net but was denied each time before he squared to Bryan Linssen who knocked it into the empty net.
Heerenveen equalised five minutes later, however, with Alfred Finnbogason latching onto a wonderful chipped through ball from Marco Pappa and lifting it over Niki Maenpaa for his 10th goal in 12 Eredivisie appearances.
Both sides created chances as they looked to steal the three points. Robert Cullen was kept out by the fingertips of Brian Vandenbussche before Filip Djuricic failed to find the net with his attempt at the other end.
WILLEM II 2-2 HERACLES
A last-minute goal from Jordens Peters rescued a point for Willem II as they came back from behind to draw 2-2 with Heracles.
The Almelo side were on top for most of the game and created several chances in the first-half but did not take the lead until after 34 minutes. Samuel Armenteros took Lerin Duarte’s pass on a superb run forward before sliding it past David Muel.
Heracles dominance resumed after the break and they took a two goal lead when Armenteros received the ball from Willie Overtoom outside the box and fired it into the net. The Swedish forward should have killed the game off soon after when he went one-on-one with Muel he was kept out.
The Tilburg club made the visitors pay for the missed opportunity when they pulled one back with 13 minutes left on the clock. Substitute Marc Hocher sent a cross into the box which was headed in by Niek Vossebelt. Just as it looked like Heracles would hold onto the lead, Willem II were awarded a free kick, which was crossed into the mix. It seemed an easy catch for Remko Pasveer but the goalkeeper dropped the ball and it landed for Peters who fired it home.
RODA 1-2 AJAX
Two late goals earned a deserved victory for Ajax after they went behind to Roda on Sunday.
Ajax were by far the better team, pressing high up the pitch and threatening the Roda goal from early on. Viktor Fischer came close to scoring the opener with a header from a Derk Boerrigter cross but it was saved by Mateusz Prus.
The visitors continued to push forward but paid for their lack of killer instinct when Roda took the lead. Daley Blind was caught in possession by Krisztian Nemeth who passed to Guus Hupperts and the midfielder smashed it past Kenneth Vermeer from outside the box.
Frank de Boer’s side continued to press up in search of the equaliser and created several chances but were constantly denied by an in-form Prus.
But the Amsterdam side eventually found the equaliser after 82 minutes as Christian Eriksen gathered a Viktor Fischer pass and darted towards goal before slotting it into the net. With the reigning champions in the ascendancy, they found a winner with two minutes left on the clock. Ricardo van Rhijn headed Moisander’s cross into the middle and substitute Lasse Schone diverted it into the net.
AZ 0-2 FEYENOORD
Feyenoord remain six points behind league leaders PSV after they picked up a 2-0 victory over 10-man AZ.
Jozy Altidore thought he had given AZ THE lead inside the first three minutes but it was chalked off for a handball.
Feyenoord had several opportunities in the first period but Graziano Pelle, Tonny Vilhena and Jean-Paul Boetius were all denied.
A goalless first half was followed by a more exciting second one as Ronald Koeman’s men took the lead when Pelle cut back to Vilhena who beat his marker before blasting it into the top corner.
Things got worse for AZ when right-back Dirk Marcellis was sent off after receiving a straight red card for a very late tackle on Boetius.
Ruben Schaken killed the game off when he picked up a loose ball outside the AZ box and drove into the middle before sending it past Esteban from outside the area.
PSV 1-2 VITESSE
Vitesse pulled themselves within two points of league leaders PSV with a 2-1 win over the Eindhoven club.
Both teams set out to attack from the very beginning, creating plenty of chances in the entertaining match.
PSV went a goal to the good within five minutes of kick-off when Jan Jan-Arie van der Heijden failed to clear a cross and it was picked up by Timothy Derijck who put it past Piet Velthuizen.
The lead lasted just 10 minutes, however, as Jonathan Reis scored with a wonderful free kick which flew straight through the wall and into the bottom corner to make it 1-1.
Dick Advocaat’s side began to attack more as they looked to regain their lead and they had several opportunities, coming close through Georginio Wijnaldum but the 22-year-old failed to find the net.
Wilfried Bony put Vitesse in the lead with just over 15 minutes left to play. Theo Janssen’s delivery was headed across the face of goal by Reis, finding Bony who buried it past Boy Waterman to make it 15 goals in 14 games for the Ivorian frontman.
TWENTE 2-2 ZWOLLE
Zwolle pulled off the shock of the weekend as they drew 2-2 with second-placed Twente on Sunday afternoon.
Chances were few and far between in the first half as the sluggish Twente were kept quiet by the tough Zwolle defence.
After a quiet opening half, Twente were awarded a penalty shortly after the restart when Edwin Gyasi burst into the box but was brought down by Joey van den Berg and Dusan Tadic stepped up to bury the resultant spot kick.
Zwolle responded quickly, levelling just seven minutes later through Denni Avdic when he pounced on the rebound of a Joost Broerse shot and put it past 42-year-old goalkeeper Sander Boschker.
Twente pushed up in search of another goal but were at risk of getting caught out by a Zwolle counterattack as the visitors had a great opportunity through Ronnie Reniers but he was kept out by Boschker.
With two minutes left, Zwolle thought they had stolen the three points with a Van den Berg goal but Steve McClaren’s side were saved by Luc Castaignos who found the net deep in injury time to keep his side within two points of PSV.