NEC hand PSV first defeat in 42 matches, Feyenoord close gap

Lasse Schöne sends Walter Benitez the wrong way for NEC's equaliser. Photo: ANP/Bart Stoutjesdijk

PSV’s dreams of going through the Eredivisie season unbeaten came off the rails in Nijmegen as cup finalists NEC came back to claim a well-deserved victory.

The league leaders went ahead after 20 minutes when Johan Bakayoko tapped in a rebound and had good chances in the first half to double their lead.

But just before half-time the video review panel spotted Joey Veerman tripping Sylla Sow in the penalty area and awarded a spot-kick which veteran midfielder Lasse Schöne put away.

Kodai Sano scored from close range shortly after the break after Walter Benitez spilled Mees Hoedemakers’s shot, before Sow smashed in Brayann Pereiera’s low cross for the third.

Minutes later Pereira gave away a penalty when he clashed with Sergiño Dest in the area, but Jesper Cillessen dived the right way to keep out Luuk de Jong’s kick.


PSV manager Peter Bosz admitted that his team had been outplayed by NEC, their first defeat in 42 league matches. “We showed an arrogant and conceited attitude and it’s entirely down to us that our unbeaten run has been interrupted,” Bosz said.

Feyenoord had to stage a comeback of their own to close the gap at the top to seven points, after going 2-0 down at home to Utrecht.

An early strike by Othmane Boussaid and a penalty by Sam Lammers gave Utrecht the advantage, but Igor Paixão quickly reduced the arrears with a long-range shot. Feyenoord turned the screw after the break and equalised when Bart Nieuwkoop headed in, before David Hancko and Leo Sauer made sure of the points.

The results keep Feyenoord’s hopes of retaining their title alive, but with PSV playing three of the bottom four teams in their remaining seven matches it would require a late-season collapse by the leaders.

Excelsior sink

RKC Waalwijk moved out of the bottom three thanks to a second-half equaliser by Kevin Felida against Heerenveen, who went ahead shortly after the break through Pelle van Amersfoort.

They were replaced in the relegation play-off spot by Excelsior, who lost 3-0 at Go Ahead Eagles and have taken just two points from their last nine league games.

Vitesse Arnhem remain five points adrift of Excelsior after Vangelis Pavlidis scored his 24th goal of the season in a 2-0 win for AZ, while Volendam closed the gap at the bottom to two points after Robert Mühren bagged a stoppage-time equaliser in Almere.

Myron Boadu’s low drive was enough to beat Heracles in the Twente derby and keep FC Twente in third place, while Ajax stay fifth after two goals by Chupa Akpom, standing in for the injured Bryan Brobbey, helped them to a 3-1 win in Zwolle.

Sparta beat Fortuna Sittard 4-0, with a double for Tobias Lauritsen, to draw level with their opponents and move to within two points of Utrecht, who currently occupy the last European play-off spot.



AZ Alkmaar 2-0 Vitesse Arnhem

Go Ahead Eagles 3-0 Excelsior

NEC Nijmegen 3-1 PSV Eindhoven

RKC Waalwijk 1-1 Heerenveen

Sparta Rotterdam 4-0 Fortuna Sittard


Almere City 1-1 Volendam

Feyenoord 4-2 Utrecht

PEC Zwolle 1-3 Ajax

Twente Enschede 1-0 Heracles Almelo


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