Saturday’s Eredivisie round-up: Wins for AZ and Heracles

AZ Alkmaar pulled ahead of Twente in the chase for Europa League football with a 2-1 victory at the AFAS Stadion on Saturday.

After a goalless first half, Joachim Andersen put the visitors ahead in the 65th minute, but they were pegged back by Peet Bijen's own-goal nine minutes from time.

More drama was to follow late on as Fred Friday pounced in stoppage time to complete the comeback win for the fifth-placed Cheeseheads, who moved four points clear of the Tukkers in seventh.

Elsewhere, PEC Zwolle remain in danger of being sucked into the relegation mire after suffering a 2-1 defeat against Heracles at MAC³PARK Stadion.

A second-half brace from Samuel Armenteros (55', 80') secured all three points for the ninth-placed Heraclieden, although Ted van de Pavert (86') pulled one back for the Blauwvingers, who are just four points off the drop zone in 14th spot.

It was a bad day for the bottom-two, as Go Ahead Eagles went down 3-2 to Groningen at Adelaarshorst, while NEC were beaten 1-0 by Excelsior at the Goffertstadion, courtesy of Mike van Duinen's 58th-minute goal.

Rock-bottom Kowet made a fight of it in their match, having twice battled back from behind, after Sam Hendriks (74') and Darren Maatsen (89') cancelled out efforts from Mimoun Mahi (37') and Jesper Drost (80') respectively.

However, Mahi struck an injury-time winner to push Robert Maaskant's side closer to the dreaded drop, with NEC not faring any better in 17th position, although they are only two points adrift of safety.

Saturday's results:

NEC 0-1 Excelsior

PEC Zwolle 1-2 Heracles

AZ Alkmaar 2-1 Twente

Go Ahead Eagles 2-3 Groningen