Vitesse climbed up to fourth place as they took three points from an eight-goal thriller with Heracles while NAC beat AZ and Utrecht hammered Roda
WILLEM II 2-3 NEC
Willem II remain stranded at the bottom of the league after surrendering an early lead to lose 3-2 to NEC on Friday.
The visitors went ahead just 41 seconds into the match as Aurelien Joachim passed to Robbie Haemhouts who blasted it past NEC goalkeeper Gabor Babos.
The Nijmegen club were lucky to find the equaliser as Willem II defender Tim Cornelisse headed a Mlevin Platje cross into his own net.
Platje put his side in the lead later in the first-half, running back to meet Remy Amieux’s cross and volleying past David Meul. The NEC star scored his second of the game just before the break, this time linking up with Ryan Koolwijk who cut back to Platje and the striker slotted into the bottom corner.
Aurelien Joachim reduced the Tilburg side’s deficit to one seven minutes after the restart, when Babos was caught stranded at a corner and the striker headed home at the back post but they could not build on the comeback.
HERACLES 3-5 VITESSE
A Wilfried Bony hat-trick inspired Vitesse to a 5-3 win over Heracles, lifting the Arnhem side into third place.
Bony fired Vitesse into the lead after 19 minutes as he collected the ball from Renato Ibarra and unleashed a spectacular shot which flew into the top corner.
Just four minutes later, it was 2-0 to the visitors as Marco van Ginkel ran into the box and tucked it under Remko Pasveer.
Lerin Duarte halved his side’s deficit as he ran onto a Thomas Bruns through pass and knocked it past Vitesse goalkeeper Piet Velthuizen.
Vitesse were given a penalty five minutes after the restart when Bart Schenkeveld brought down Valeri Qazaishvili. Bony stepped up to convert the spot kick but Pasveer read the Ivorian well and kept him out. The Heracles shot stopper did not have too much time to celebrate though as the resultant corner was whipped in towards Mike Havenaar at the back post and the Japan international headed back to Van Ginkel who nudged it into the net.
Havenaar was the creator once again just two minutes later, heading on to Bony who had Ben Rienstra beaten for pace before he rounded Pasveer and put it over the line for his second of the game.
Jeffrey Castillion pulled a goal back for Heracles with 17 minutes remaining with a shot which bounced into the bottom corner.
The evening got worse for the Almelo side when they went a man down late on after Bruns was shown his second yellow card and then Bony added insult to injury when he slotted past Pasveer to complete his hat-trick.
Deep into injury time Ninos Gouriye capped off the scoring as he ran onto Marko Vejinovic’s pass and buried it to make it 5-3.
VVV 1-0 RKC
Marcel Seip’s first-half strike made the difference between VVV and RKC as the relegation battlers picked up a crucial three points with a 1-0 victory over the Waalwijk club.
RKC were the better team for most of the first-half and threatened to take the lead early on with Ard van Peppen firing straight at Niki Maenpaa after a fantastic run down the left wing and Mart Lieder heading wide shortly afterwards.
The Venlo side began to impose themselves on the match as the first period wore on and took the lead after 31 minutes as Nils Roseler knocked the ball back into the box after Van Peppen’s poor clearance from a corner. Seip was quickest to react and was able to knock the ball past RKC goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet with ease.
Imad Najah almost equalised for the visitors five minutes later with a free-kick which Maenpaa palmed wide.
Zoet prevented RKC from going further behind when Uche Nwofor teed it up for Aleksander Radosavljevic whose shot from the edge of the box was stopped by the goalkeeper.
Both shot-stoppers were kept busy throughout the second period as Maenpaa kept out Van Peppen and Florian Jozefzoon, while at the other end, Zoet ensured his side were still in the game as he denied Linssen and Nwofor.
GRONINGEN 1-0 ZWOLLE
A last minute strike from Michael de Leeuw lifted Groningen up to ninth place as they beat Zwolle 1-0.
Both sides were evenly matched over the course of the game, but Groningen created more chances throughout the second-half as relegation candidates Zwolle played for a draw.
The first goalscoring opportunity of the match fell to Denni Avdic after 20 minutes but his shot sailed over the bar.
Zwolle goalkeeper Diederik Boer kept the score level with a vital save from a Genero Zeefuik effort before keeping out shots from Andraz Kim, Rasmus Lindgren, and De Leeuw.
Henk Bos should have put Groningen ahead just after the hour mark as he charged towards goal and looked certain to hit the back of the net but his shot missed the target.
The deadlock was finally broken three minutes into injury time when De Leeuw smashed a fantastic cross into the back of the net to steal the three points for Groningen.
HEERENVEEN 2-1 TWENTE
Steve McClaren’s Twente dropped to fifth place in the league as they lost 2-1 to Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen.
Rajiv van La Parra gave the hosts the advantage halfway through the first period, pouncing on a poor Leroy Fer pass and galloping towards goal before firing in under Nikolay Mihaylov.
Twente looked much better in the second-half after a poor first 45 and they drew level shortly after the restart. The ball was worked out wide to Roberto Rosales who was found in plenty of space on the right wing and had time to line up his cross to substitute Dmitry Bulykin who headed it in.
Both sides created plenty of chances as the game wore on with Filip Djuricic, Van La Parra and Alfred Finnbogason creating a lot of danger for Heerenveen while 18-year-old Tim Hölscher, Dusan Tadic and Bulykin threatened at the other end.
As the game looked to be finishing a draw, Heerenveen restored their lead when Van La Parra lifted the ball for Finnbogason who rose unchallenged to head past Mihaylov after 79 minutes.
The evening got worse for McClaren’s side when Edson Braafheid was sent off with his second yellow card three minutes before full-time as Twente remain without a win in 2013.
FEYENOORD 2-1 PSV
Feyenoord came from behind to claw themselves back into the title race with a 2-1 win over league leaders PSV in De Kuip on Sunday.
Dick Advocaat’s side took the lead after just 34 minutes when Jordy Clasie was forced all the way back from the PSV box to the halfway line and was caught in possession by Jeremain Lens. The ball fell to Tim Matavz and the Slovenian frontman burst forward and squared to Lens who tapped it over the line.
Clasie made up for his error when he played a perfectly weighted through ball to Ruben Schaken who lifted it over Boy Waterman to equalise two minutes into the second-half.
Daryl Janmaat came close to giving Ronald Koeman’s side the lead with a chip from the edge of the box which Waterman could only just tip over the bar. With the ball in PSV’s half after the resultant corner, Feyenoord maintained the pressure and Graziano Pelle collected the ball outside the box and smashed it into the bottom corner to give the hosts all three points.
Feyenoord now sit in third place, three points behind PSV and one behind fierce rivals Ajax.
UTRECHT 4-0 RODA
Roda remain in the relegation playoff place as they suffered a 4-0 mauling at the hands of Utrecht.
Utrecht were by far the better team throughout the game, as they dominated from the early stages and were given a huge advantage when Abel Tamata was shown a straight red card for a poor tackle on Edouard Duplan. Jacob Mulenga coolly converted the resultant spot kick to give his side the lead after 19 minutes.
Jan Wuytens doubled Utrecht’s advantage eight minutes later with a shot from 20 yards which rolled into the bottom corner.
Then, Tommy Oar made it 3-0 two minutes into the second-half as he was perfectly placed to meet a rebound from a Mulenga shot and knock it in.
The scoring was capped off with 25 minutes remaining as Duplan’s weak shot turned into a great pass to Mulenga who ran forward and buried it with ease.
AJAX 1-1 ADO
Ajax passed up the opportunity to go even on points with Eredivisie leaders PSV as they drew 1-1 with ADO in the Amsterdam ArenA.
Kolbeinn Sigthorsson should have given Ajax an early lead when he found himself clear on goal but was denied by Gino Coutinho. Minutes later, Mike van Duinen had ADO’s first chance as he received the ball in plenty of space inside the box but his shot went over the bar.
Ajax continued to put pressure on the visitors and created several chances throughout the game. Ricardo van Rhijn saw one ambitious shot from the right wing palmed just wide by Coutinho and Viktor Fischer fired a fantastic opportunity across the face of goal.
ADO took the lead on the half-hour mark when Niklas Moisander’s poor backpass went straight to Tjaronn Chery who chipped over Ajax goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer from 25 yards.
Sigthorsson looked to have levelled the score five minutes later with a shot which beat Coutinho but was cleared off the line. Ajax protested that the ball had crossed the line but the referee allowed play to carry on.
Frank de Boer’s side continually pressed throughout the second-half but were kept out by some fantastic goalkeeping and last moment tackles from the ADO backline.
The equaliser eventually came through Danish midfielder Lasse Schone who blasted in a poorly cleared cross from 18 yards.
AZ 0-1 NAC
Nemanja Gudelj’s strike on six minutes was enough to clinch a victory for NAC as they saw off AZ at the AFAS Stadion.
Gudelj opened the scoring with a stunning strike from distance as he controlled Etienne Reijnen’s clearance from a Sepp de Roover cross and fired it past Esteban to give his side the lead.
AZ were left chasing the game and began to attack but struggled to build any momentum and rarely threatened the NAC goal.
Despite AZ seeing most of the ball in the early stages of the second period, it was NAC who came closest to hitting the net when Anthony Lurling forced a good save from Esteban.
Later, NAC goalkeeper Jelle ten Rouwelaar did well to keep out Adam Maher’s well-struck free-kick.
The Alkmaar side pressed as the game went on but their inefficiency up front ensured NAC took all three points from the match.