AZ Alkmaar moves up to second in Eredivisie
November 27, 2006 6:15pm CST
AZ Alkmaar moves up to second in Eredivisie November 26, 2006 AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (Ticker) - AZ Alkmaar moved up to second in the Eredivisie on Sunday after Ajax slumped to a surprise 3-0 defeat at struggling Sparta Rotterdam. The Amsterdammers started the day as the closest challengers to leaders PSV Eindhoven, but were undone by goals from Yuri Rose, Sjaak Polak and Haris Medunjanin. Henk ten Cate's men were not helped, however, by the 13th-minute dismissal of Holland midfielder Wesley Sneijder. AZ made the most of Ajax's slip with a 3-1 win at Heerenveen. Afonso Alves put the hosts in front, but Shota Arveladze, Danny Koevermans and Maarten Martens sealed a comfortable win for AZ at the Abe Lenstra Stadium. Feyenoord missed the chance to close the gap on the top four following a 4-1 thrashing at NEC Nijmegen. Brett Holman, Chris Eagles, Dominque Kivuvu and Andrzej Niedzielan were all on the scoresheet at the De Goffert stadium as Mario Been's men dominated from start to finish. Only a late own goal by Patrick Pothuizen gave the visitors anything to celebrate. FC Groningen's inconsistent form continued as they went down 5-2 at home to ADO Den Haag. ADO, whose coach Frans Adelaar quit on Monday after last weekend's game against Vitesse Arnhem was halted by a pitch invasion, responded well to caretaker boss Lex Schoenmaker. Goran Bunjevcevic and Richard Knopper twice put the visitors into the lead, but Goran Lovre and Erik Nevland hit back for Groningen. But the home side fell apart in the second half and Laurent Delorge, Knopper and Santi Kolk lifted ADO off the foot of the table. Sunday's other game saw Roda JC overcome NAC Breda 3-2 in Kerkrade. PSV, who are now five points clear at the top, thumped FC Utrecht 5-0 on Saturday. Robin Nelisse's own goal opened the scoring before strikes from Ibrahim Afellay and Jefferson Farfan put the home side comfortably ahead at the interval. Arouna Kone's strike further compounded Utrecht's misery, before Farfan fired home his second as PSV bounced back from their midweek Champions League defeat to Liverpool in emphatic style. In Tilburg, Willem II edged out second-bottom RKC Waalwijk 3-1 in a heated derby match. Kevin Bobson's brace and a Frank van der Struijk strike late on were enough for the hosts in a game overshadowed by the dismissals of Iwan Redan and Vergilio Teixeira. A goal by Hans van de Haar brought the visitors into the game briefly, until Van der Struijk's late sting in the tail. However, tempers flared on the half-hour when Bobson scored his second after appearing to foul a RKC defender, which sparked angry scenes. Teixeira and Reden clashed and the latter punched the Portuguese player in the face, sparking a brawl which ended with the dismissal for Reden and a caution for Teixeira. Shortly after half-time, Teixeira himself saw red after a second caution. In the night's final game, Excelsior hit six unanswered goals as the Roodzwarten came from behind to claim an emphatic win over Heracles Almelo. Everton had put the visitors into a early lead but Jarda Simr (31) and Jos van Nieuwstadt (44) handed Excelsior the advantage at the interval. Simr (54), Sebastiaan Steur (58), Andwele Slory (69) and Guilliano Grot (77) found the net in the second half as the visitors sunk without a trace at the Stadion Woudestein to give last season's Eerste Divisie champions their first victory in eight games. On Friday night, FC Twente beat Vitesse 2-0.