Memphis Depay missed from the spot for the Eredivisie leaders but redeemed himself with a late winner as PSV recovered to break Willem II hearts. Meanwhile, with PSV disappearing over the horizon, Ajax went down 1-0 at Vitesse to leave any hope of retaining the championship in tatters, writes Neil Adderley.
FC Dordrecht 0 – 0 Heerenveen: Dordrecht claim vital point as Sinkgraven bids farewell
Bottom of the table FC Dordrecht held in-form Heerenveen to a scoreless draw at de Krommedijk. The visitors, who were clearly missing the threat of Eredivisie top scorer Mark Uth, rarely threatened to break the deadlock.
It was Dordrecht, buoyed by last weekend’s win, that came closest to claiming all three points only for Fernando Lewis to see his second half shot deflected wide.
A largely disappointing game will be remembered as the last in a blue and white shirt for midfielder Daley Sinkgraven. The Dutch youth international is bidding farewell to Heerenveen supporters after securing a €6.5m move to Ajax.
PSV Eindhoven 2 – 1 Willem II: Late, late show keeps PSV firmly on championship track
The Eredivisie leaders were given a massive scare by Willem II but two late goals spared PSV blushes at the Philips Stadion. Willem II, that had earlier in the season beaten Feyenoord in De Kuip, took a deserved lead as Robert Braber headed home a near post corner on the half hour.
PSV responded but couldn’t find a way past Kostas Lamprou. The Willem II keeper smartly denying both Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay in quick succession.
Once Samuel Armenteros failed to double the visitors lead, PSV pushed once more and the pressure finally paid off as Lamprou brought down Jurgen Locadia in the box on 75 minutes.
However, top scorer Memphis Depay could do no more than launch the spot kick wildly over the bar. Just as it seemed PSV was about to lose its unbeaten home record, as well as opening the door for closest rivals Ajax, two goals in the last six minutes broke Willem II hearts.
Locadia brought PSV level on 84 minutes as he cut in from the left to beat Lamprou from the edge of the box. And with just a minute on the clock Memphis Depay redeemed himself to secure all the points with a left foot finish from a Locadia header.
Excelsior 0 – 0 NAC Breda: Rearguard action delivers point for NAC
New manager Robert Maaskant, who arrived in Breda with a promise to tighten up the NAC defence, left Woudestein satisfied with a share of the spoils.
However, NAC, who have registered one solitary goal in 540 minutes of Eredivisie football, will have to show much more attacking intent if they are to avoid relegation to the Jupiler League.
Just three days after clinically firing four goals past Roda JC to qualify for the semi-final of the KNVB Cup, Excelsior once again controlled the majority of the game.
But on this occasion the home side failed to convert any of the numerous chances created.
FC Groningen 2 – 0 Go Ahead Eagles: Rusnak returns to haunt the Eagles
Go Ahead keeper Mickey van der Hart will be glad to see the back of new Groningen midfielder Albert Rusnak. Rusnak had beaten van der Hart prior to the winter stop with a dipping, swerving shot while in the colours of Cambuur.
The Slovakian international repeated the feat after just nine minutes of a game dominated by his new employers. Confidently picking up the ball 35 yards from goal, Rusnak unleashed a wicked drive that left van der Hart mesmerized and Go Ahead unable to respond.
A stuttering campaign for FC Groningen has suddenly exploded into life for the green & white army, whose team are one home game away from a KNVB Cup final appearance.
And they watched on as Michael de Leeuw, Tjarron Chery and Jarchinio Antonia all failed to add to Rusnak’s early strike. The second, and killer goal, eventually arrived in the 69th minute and it was well worth the wait.
Chery found Antonia with a cheeky back-heel before the former Go Ahead player returned the favour to leave the Groningen No.10 to calmly finish off an outstanding team goal.
FC Twente 2 – 1 Cambuur Leeuwarden:
Twente boss Alfred Schreuder labelled his teams midweek 3-0 KNVB Cup victory as the best of the season so far. However, it took a last minute Kyle Ebecilio strike to claim all the points against a stubborn Cambuur.
Leonard Nienhuis was the star for Cambuur as he denied Twente a deserved first half lead, but he was eventually beaten on the hour as Renatio Tapia controlled smartly before beating the onrushing keeper.
The visitors, who had been on an eight game unbeaten run away from home, silenced the Grolsche Veste when substitute Martijn Barto drew the Frisian’s level.
With the game seemingly heading for a draw, Twente substitute Ebecilio won it for Schreuder as he fired past Nienhuis with his very first touch of the game.
Feyenoord 2 – 1 ADO Den Haag: Feyenoord hold on against regenerated ADO
A game that seemed done and dusted became uncomfortable for Feyenoord as ADO threatened a comeback at De Kuip. Ex-Hagenese Lex Immers put the home side in front after 10 minutes, stabbing home a Miquel Nelom near post cross.
When fellow former ADO player Jens Toornstra saw his low 20th minute drive turned into his own net by the unfortunate Timothy Derijck, a comfortable Feyenoord victory looked on the cards.
ADO, who have recently been the subject of a Chinese buyout, got back into the game just after the break when Mike van Duinen headed home.
Boosted by a goal that unsettled both Feyenoord and the home crowd, ADO pushed for an equaliser but could find no way past in-form keeper Kenneth Vermeer.
FC Utrecht 0 – 2 PEC Zwolle: Classy PEC show no signs of fading away
Utrecht came into this one on the back of a distressing week for the club. Both off and on the field. The club was a victim of an armed robbery as a reported €100,000 in cash was stolen from the stadium on Monday night.
A tough week became even more difficult when midfielder Anouar Kali left Swedish forward Kristoffer Peterson with a broken jaw after a training ground scuffle.
Surprising as it seems, Kali was selected in the starting eleven and was, less surprisingly, roundly booed by his own supporters.
Utrecht’s awful week was cemented as PEC Zwolle left the Galgenwaard with all three points thanks to goals in each half from Thomas Lam and Stef Nijland.
Vitesse Arnhem 1 – 0 Ajax: Defeat leaves reigning champions nine points adrift of PSV
Frank de Boer defined this game as a ‘must win’ for Ajax but the champions poor form continued unabated at the Gelredome. Vitesse, who days earlier had suffered a 4-0 quarter final defeat at the hands of FC Groningen, dominated de Boer’s men throughout and were unfortunate not to win by a more comfortable margin.
The home team’s endeavour was finally rewarded with a stunning late winner.
Uros Djurdjevis’ control, skill and powerful finish left both defender Niklas Moisander and keeper Jasper Cillessen helpless. And Ajax needing a minor miracle to hold on to the title.
AZ Alkmaar 3 – 1 Heracles Almelo: AZ back on track after cup defeat
AZ recovered from midweek cup disappointment to record a comfortable victory over struggling Heracles.
Most good things from AZ come through Nemanja Gudelj and it was the captain’s overhead kick, finished by striker Aron Johannsson, that gave the home team the advantage.
John van den Brom has given Norwegian midfielder Marcus Henriksen a licence to get forward, and the 22-year old repaid the manager with a clever drag-back before setting up Steven Berghuis.
Heracles halved the deficit when debutant Brahim Darri saw a deflected shot loop over Esteban in the AZ goal. Henriksen though would have the last word as he bundled home on 87 minutes after excellent work from Dabney Dos Santos.
The win keeps AZ on course for Europe in fifth place while Heracles are fighting for their Eredivisie lives down in 16th.
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