Sport : Football

AZ END WEEKEND ON TOP

26th March 2012, 10:59am

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Johann Gudmundsson: Winning goal for AZ

Johann Gudmundsson: Winning goal for AZ

AZ Alkmaar ensured they would remain top of the Eredivisie this weekend with a 1-0 home win over RKC Waalwijk.

Johann Gudmundsson scored the only goal of an otherwise poor match after 49 minutes to keep Gertjan Verbeek's side ahead of the chasing pack.

Ajax remain their closest challengers, a point behind, after beating title rivals PSV Eindhoven 2-0.

The two goals came inside seven second-half minutes, with Ismail Aissati opening the scoring (56) and Siem de Jong adding a penalty.

Three goals in 19 second-half minutes gave Feyenoord a 3-0 win at bottom side De Graafschap that keeps them on the fringes of the title race.

They will not have been buoyed to see AZ win but, thanks to goals from John Guidetti, Ruben Schaken and Sekou Cisse are five points behind the top-ranked side heading into the business end of the season.

The picture is far less prosperous for the Superboeren.

With 27 games now played they have just 16 points to their name, 14 short of the current safety mark.

Heracles Almelo capped a memorable week with a 3-1 home win over 10-man FC Utrecht to further ease their relegation worries.

After president Jan Smit hailed the midweek 4-2 KNVB Beker semi-final win at AZ Alkmaar as the "high point in the history of the club" the Heracles players ensured there was no league hangover on Sunday.

Samuel Armenteros fired them ahead after just three minutes and while Cedric van der Gun levelled on 54 minutes the game turned on Alje Schut's dismissal soon after.

Ninos Gouriye ensured they made full use of the advantage as he struck a double in the final 10 minutes to move Heracles eight points clear of the relegation play-off zone.

FC Twente missed the chance to go top of the Eredivisie as they were held 1-1 by struggling ADO Den Haag on Saturday night.

Glynor Plet scored a 62nd-minute equaliser for Steve McClaren's men to cancel out Ebi Smolarek's early opener.

The draw was the third time this month Twente had dropped points and left them a point behind leaders AZ Alkmaar and level with second-placed Ajax, both of whom have a game in hand.

Viktor Elm scored twice as Heerenveen won comfortably at home to VVV-Venlo to keep up their bid for European qualification next season.

Heerenveen lie fifth in the table after a win which also saw Filip Djuricic and Bas Dost score, while VVV, whose consolation goal came from Barry Maguire, are in the bottom three.

Roda JC claimed a 3-1 victory over fellow Europa League play-off contenders Vitesse Arnhem.

Sanharib Malki put Roda in front in the 25th minute and Davy de Beule doubled the advantage 12 minutes later.

Davy Propper pulled one back to Vitesse just one minute after that, but Mads Junker got Roda's third four minutes into the second half to end the visitors' hopes.

Nourdin Boukhari was both hero and villain as he scored the equaliser and was then sent off as NAC Breda claimed a vital point against NEC Nijmegen in their battle against relegation.

Lasse Schone put the visitors ahead in the 20th minute before NAC forced their way back into the game with Boukhari claiming a deserved equaliser.

The Moroccan undermined his good work when he was sent off for a rash challenge, just four matches into his second spell with the club.

On Friday night, Lorenzo Burnet's first-half goal was enough to give FC Groningen a narrow 1-0 victory that leaves opponents Excelsior deep in relegation trouble.

Burnet scored a much too simple goal in the 18th minute and the hosts rarely looked like getting level in a dull affair.

The result leaves Excelsior in 17th place, only two points above rock-bottom De Graafschap and well adrift of avoiding the relegation play-offs.

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