Zahavi strike gives PSV narrow win to stay within two points of Ajax

Eran Zahavi (r) celebrates his winner against Utrecht. Photo: ANP/Pieter Stam de Jonge
Eran Zahavi (r) celebrates his winner against Utrecht. Photo: ANP/Pieter Stam de Jonge

Eran Zahavi’s close-range strike early in the second half against Utrecht was enough to keep PSV within two points of Ajax with eight matches to play in the Eredivisie.

Despite being weakened by injuries and coronavirus infections, Utrecht held Roger Schmidt’s side at bay for the first half, thanks to some heroics by Fabian de Keijzer in goal.

Mike van de Hoorn had a chance to put the home side ahead shortly after the break, but minutes later Zahavi popped up in the six-yard area to tap home a low cross by Cody Gakpo.

Ajax looked to have squandered two points on Friday evening after Cambuur Leeuwarden came back from 2-0 down at half-time to equalise, until Ryan Gravenberch fired in a long-range strike in the second minute of injury time.

Feyenoord overcame PEC Zwolle to stay third, but only after Bram van Polen had given the home side the lead just before half-time. A deflected shot by Luis Sinisterra and Cyriel Dessers’s strike on the turn turned the game around late in the second half to put PEC back at the foot of the table.

Sparta Rotterdam moved off the bottom with a 1-0 win at home against Go Ahead Eagles, but the match was overshadowed by a clash of heads after 30 minutes that left Sparta defender Tom Beugelsdijk out cold. Beugelsdijk was stretchered off the pitch and the club later said he had suffered concussion but was otherwise well.

Fortuna Sittard edged ahead of Willem II after winning their relegation six-pointer with a goal from Zian Flemming, in the first match since the Tilburgers dismissed coach Fred Grim and technical director Joris Mathijsen.

AZ defeat

Twente Enschede inflicted AZ’s first league defeat in four months to draw level with the Alkmaarders on points in the battle for fourth place. Joshua Benet’s second-half goal was the difference between the sides.

Groningen won a topsy-turvy encounter with NEC thanks to two late goals by Romano Postema. The home side were 3-2 down after just 32 minutes, in a match which saw 35-year-old Lasse Schöne score his first goal since returning to Nijmegen this season.

Vitesse Arnhem, whose Russian owner Valery Oyf announced this week he was selling his shares, drew 0-0 at Heracles, while the match between RKC and Heerenveen also finished goalless.



Cambuur Leeuwarden 2-3 Ajax


Groningen 4-3 NEC Nijmegen

RKC Waalwijk 0-0 Heerenveen

Sparta Rotterdam 1-0 Go Ahead Eagles


AZ Alkmaar 0-1 Twente Enschede

Fortuna Sittard 1-0 Willem II Tilburg

Heracles Almelo 0-0 Vitesse Arnhem

PEC Zwolle 1-2 Feyenoord

Utrecht 0-1 PSV Eindhoven

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