Feyenoord break Volendam resistance to preserve three-point margin

Feyenoord's Alireza Jahanbakhsh holds off Josh Flint of Volendam. Photo: ANP/ Pieter Stam de Jonge
Feyenoord’s Alireza Jahanbakhsh holds off Josh Flint of Volendam. Photo: ANP/ Pieter Stam de Jonge

Feyenoord survived a scare against Volendam’s battlers to preserve their three-point lead over Ajax ahead of next weekend’s top of the table clash in Amsterdam.

Volendam took the lead in the Kuip when Daryl van Mieghem stole a march on Feyenoord’s defence and slid the ball into the net after 12 minutes.

Feyenoord coach Arie Slot changed three players at half-time and was rewarded when Lutsharel Geertruida held off three defenders and laid the ball off for Santiago Gimenez to sweep in an equaliser.

Volendam held out until the 76th minute when Damon Mirani bundled a cross into his own net.

Feyenoord now host Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday in the Conference League before heading to the Johan Cruyff Arena on Sunday for a chance to open up a six-point lead on their rivals.

Ajax extended their winning streak under interim John Heitinga to seven matches with a comfortable victory at Heerenveen.

The champions went 3-0 up within 20 minutes, with Mohamed Kudus scoring the first and setting up the second for Edson Alvarez, before Steven Bergwijn tucked away a third and was only denied another by the post.

Pelle van Amersfoort stopped the rot for Heerenveen when he punished a moment of indecision by goalkeeper Gerónimo Rulli to head in from close range. But Kenneth Taylor restored the advantage with a low shot shortly after half-time and Sydney van Hooijdonk’s twisting header 10 minutes before the end was no more than a consolation.

PSV ‘unacceptable’

PSV coach Ruud van Nistelrooy described his team’s first-half performance against bottom side Cambuur Leeuwarden as ‘unacceptable’.

Cambuur took the lead through Remco Balk after some lax defending, but Xavi Simons to equalised three minutes later after pouncing on a blunder by Mitchel Paulissen.

Van Nistelrooy brought on Anwar El Ghazi for the second half and the winger proved the difference, scoring twice as PSV pulled clear to win 5-2.

AZ Alkmaar stay in contention after Jesper Karlsson’s wonder goal after just four minutes was enough to see off Groningen. The Swedish forward advanced, spun away from his marker and unleashed a shot from 25 metres that flew over Michael Verrips and into the top corner.

Emmen moved out of the bottom three at the expense of their Excelsior after beating the Rotterdam side 2-0 with two poacher’s goals by Ole Romeny.

Struggling Vitesse lost their fourth straight match despite taking an early lead at Sparta through Dominik Oroz. It took just four minutes for Alfred Verscheuren to head in an equaliser, before Koki Saito put the home side ahead with a fine volley just before half-time. Joshua Kitolano made sure of the points by heading in from a corner late on.

Twente stay a point ahead of Sparta in fourth place after beating Fortuna 3-0 in Limburg. Václav Cerny put the vistors ahead after 67 minutes as he finished off a dribbling run by nutmegging the last defender, before Manfred Ugalde struck twice to seal the win.

Utrecht came back from 2-0 down to share the points with draw specialists NEC, thanks to two goals in a five-minute second-half spell from substitute Bas Dost and Osmathe Boussaid.

Go Ahead Eagles’ Friday night fixture against RKC Waalwijk was postponed because of heavy snow in Deventer.



Go Ahead Eagles P-P RKC Waalwijk


AZ Alkmaar 1-0 Groningen

Emmen 2-0 Excelsior

Fortuna SIttard 0-3 Twente Enschede

Sparta Rotterdam 3-1 Vitesse Arnhem


Feyenoord 2-1 Volendam

Heerenveen 2-4 Ajax

PSV Eindhoven 5-2 Cambuur Leeuwarden

NEC 2-2 Utrecht

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