Ajax beat Willem II to go third
A review of the weekend's action in the Dutch Eredivisie.
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Ajax climbed into third place in the Eredivisie table on Sunday by resisting a spirited challenge from Willem II to claim a 4-2 win.
Siem de Jong registered his seventh goal of the season in the 11th minute, with Danny Hoesen promptly doubling Ajax's lead three minutes later, and it looked like Frank de Boer's men had opened a clear route through to a sixth straight league win.
But Aurelien Joachim halved the deficit just two minutes after Hoesen's strike, with Genaro Snijders notching in the 28th minute to ensure the scores were level going into the break.
Ajax became more and more frantic as their hosts held them at bay throughout a frustrating second half, but Niklas Moisander gave De Boer's men the lead once again in the 72nd minute.
Willem came close to salvaging the late equaliser that would have kept Ajax in fourth place but visiting substitute Jody Lukoki squeezed in a final goal to confirm the Amsterdam club's ascent.
Ajax's victory curbed Feyenoord's own climb up the table after ADO Den Haag's Tjaronn Chery handed Ronald Koeman's men a 3-2 victory with his late own goal.
On-loan Parma striker Graziano Pelle made the most of Bruno Martins Indi's pass to score his 14th goal of the season with 15 minutes gone, but Den Haag levelled immediately.
Mike van Duinen was well-placed to turn home Chery's cross and the visitors looked good for parity going into the break, only for Pelle to push Kenneth Omeruo in the back, allowing Lex Immers to edge Feyenoord back in front from the spot.
A mad minute threw the game wide open when play resumed, Danny Holla converting a penalty when Martins Indi brought Van Duinen down in the area - an offence for which he saw a red card. Tom Beugelsdijk soon walked for elbowing an opponent and both sides were down to 10 men.
And four minutes from time it fell to Chery to hand Feyenoord all three points with a headed own-goal. Feyenoord remain in fifth place thanks to Ajax's success in Tilburg.
Sander Duits denied Vitesse Arnhem the chance to draw level on points with second-placed FC Twente - and keep Ajax at bay - as his stoppage-time goal earned RKC Waalwijk a point from a 2-2 draw.
Wilfried Bony put Vitesse ahead after just eight minutes at the GelreDome and it took Teddy Chevalier until the 78th minute to equalise for RKC.
The hosts were unfazed, though, and Simon Cziommer fired what appeared to be the winner nine minutes from time, only for Duits to earn RKC point three minutes into time added on.
Elsewhere, FC Utrecht opened a five-point gap over seventh-placed NEC Nijmegen< as Leon de Kogel scored twice in a 3-1 victory over Heerenveen.
Both sides drew a blank in the first half but De Kogel seized on Jacob Mulenga's pass to put Utrecht ahead in the 66th minute. The 21-year-old striker completed his brace four minutes later before Alfred Finnbogason halved the deficit from the penalty spot.
But Heerenveen could not force an equaliser and Mulenga, who had previously had a goal ruled out for offside, made the hosts' points safe with his 89th-minute strike.
PSV Eindhoven returned to the top of the Eredivisie but they did so on goal difference only after being held to a 1-1 draw at NEC Nijmegen.
The pressure was on PSV after FC Twente had moved to the summit with victory on Friday night and it seemed Marcel Brands' men were on course to regain their two-point advantage when Mathias Jorgensen put them in front in the 10th minute.
But they failed to add to their lead and it came back to haunt them when Victor Palsson struck 10 minutes from time to give NEC a share of the spoils.
Jozy Altidore bagged a brace as AZ Alkmaar ran out 2-1 winners at 10-man Zwolle.
The United States striker struck in the second and 34th minutes and although Denni Avdic halved the deficit after the interval, they were reduced to 10 men when Joey Van der Berg was dismissed.
Roda JC moved off the bottom of the table following a goalless draw at home to fellow strugglers NAC Breda.
Neither side could find the net but the point ensured the hosts moved above Willem II on goal difference.
There were also no goals between Groningen and VVV-Venlo, where the former were forced to play almost the entire match with 10 men after Leandro Bacuna was sent off in the sixth minute.
FC Twente had briefly returned to the summit after battling from a goal behind to register a 3-2 win over Heracles Almelo on Friday evening.
Hosts Heracles hit the front in the 20th minute through Marko Vejinovic but Twente were on level terms inside six minutes as Nacer Chadli struck.
Steve McClaren's visitors went into the match still smarting from a 3-0 loss at PSV Eindhoven last time out but showed fighting spirit to go ahead in the 62nd minute when Edwin Gyasi fired home.
Thomas Bruns equalised for Heracles two minutes later, but with 20 minutes remaining Twente found a winner as substitute Luc Castaignos fired home.