Excelsior stun Sparta

Excelsior picked up a massive three points in their battle to avoid relegation from the Eredivisie with a 3-2 win over Sparta Rotterdam on Friday night.

In front of 10606 enthusiastic Rotterdam fans at the Sparta-Stadion Het Kasteel, the visitor's night got off to a woeful start when Ryan Koolwijk steered the ball into his own net after just 10 minutes.

It had been all Rotterdam up until that point, with Martin Pusic seeing a goal-bound shot well blocked before the opening goal.

Excelsior, though were level on 23 minutes when Nigel Hasselbaink headed a Jurgen Mattheij corner into the bottom-left corner of the net from close range.

There were chances for both sides, but Excelsior ultimately doubled their lead, on the stroke of half-time, with Stanley Elbers smashing home from the left of the target after a neat headed knockdown from Mike van Duinen.

And amazingly, it took just three second half minutes for the visiting side to extend their lead as Hasselbaink bagged his brace, as he latched onto a Fredy Ribeiro through ball before firing home.

The hosts pushed their struggling rivals all the way and netted a second in the 87th minute through Martin Pusic, as he tapped home from a Paco van Moorsel pass, but it was too little too late as Excelsior held on for the win.

The result saw Excelsior move from 17th to 14th, out of the relegation places, on 28 points, two clear of danger.

Rotterdam dropped one place to 14th, also on 28 points.