AZ retain Eredivisie lead with 2-1 win at Utrecht as top four win

Yukinari Sugawara (r) celebrates scoring AZ's second goal. Photo: ANP/Ed van de Pol
Yukinari Sugawara (r) celebrates scoring AZ’s second goal. Photo: ANP/Ed van de Pol

AZ Alkmaar put on a commanding display in Utrecht to maintain their lead in the Eredivisie on a weekend when the top four sides all won.

The only unbeaten side in the league went ahead after 31 minutes with a long-range shot from Myron van Brederode, before Japanese defender Yukinari Sugawara finished off a well-worked move midway through the second half. Utrecht’s only reply was a late consolation goal by Moussa Sylla.

Ajax, still recovering from their midweek humiliation in the Champions League at the hands of Napol, survived a late fightback by bottom club Volendam.

The champions looked to be cruising when Brian Brobbey put them 3-0 ahead after 64 minutes, but 10 minutes later a shot by Lequincio Zeefuik slipped underneath Remko Pasveer and Carel Eiting fired home with four minutes remaining.

Volendam were denied an equaliser when Henk Veerman put the ball in the net from an offside position, before Davy Klaassen scored Ajax’s fourth from a breakaway move deep in injury time.

A second-half strike by Cody Gakpo was enough to earn PSV their first win at Heerenveen in more than a decade and keep Ruud van Nistelrooy’s side within two points of the leaders.

Feyenoord keep up

Fourth-placed Feyenoord overcame in-form Twente in a tightly fought contest that turned on two moments at the end of the first half. Orkun Kökcü fired a free-kick over Twente’s wall for the opening goal, before the dismissal of striker Vaclav Cerny for a high tackle left the visitors with an uphill task.

Twente’s hopes of snatching a point were snuffed out when David Hancko headed in a rebounded shot for his first goal in Feyenoord colours after 64 minutes.

The two teams who upset the form book last week, Go Ahead Eagles and Cambuur Leeuwarden, were unable to repeat the fireworks as they drew 0-0 in Deventer.

RKC Waalwijk edged an eventful match in Groningen that saw the home side reduced to 10 men after just 37 minutes when Radinio Balker saw red after bundling over Roy Kuijpers in the penalty area.

Dario van der Buijs equalised with the resulting spot-kick, before two goals by Mika Biereth in the second half sealed the points.

Sparta climbed to sixth place with a 3-1 win over Emmen courtesy of late strikers by Bart Vriends and Mario Engels, while NEC shared the points for the seventh match in a row against Excelsior.



Groningen 2-3 RKC Waalwijk


NEC Nijmegen 1-1 Excelsior

Sparta Rotterdam 3-1 Emmen

Volendam 2-4 Ajax


Feyenoord 2-0 Twente Enschede

Go Ahead Eagles 0-0 Cambuur Leeuwarden

Heerenveen 0-1 PSV Eindhoven

Utrecht 1-2 AZ Alkmaar

Vitesse L-L Fortuna Sittard


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