Twente drop points in Dutch title race

09:25, February 21, 2011      

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FC Twente lost ground in the Dutch Eredivisie title race on Sunday.

The reigning champions drew 1-1 against NEC, while rivals PSV and Ajax beat NAC Breda (4-1) and VVV-Venlo (1-0).

All three title contenders had European obligations three days ago, but with Ajax and PSV returning from Belgium (Anderlecht) and the north of France (Lille OSC) respectively Twente had experienced the most tiring trip to Moscow (Rubin Kazan).

NEC opened the scoring in Enschede when Niki Zimling finished a pass from his Danish compatriot Lasse Schne. Twente bounced back via Emir Bajrami, but was not able to get more. Luuk de Jong was close to winning the match. However, his header in the final minutes hit the crossbar.

PSV was playing against 10 NAC Breda players after 15 minutes when Nemanja Gudelj received his second booking.

A Balazs Dzsudzsak free kick gave the home team the lead 10 minutes later, but PSV failed to get a bigger margin. NAC even managed to equalize in the 64th minute after Dzsudzsak lost the ball and Anthony Lurling scored.

The visitors could not enjoy this goal for too long, because Jeremain Lens gave PSV the lead again and Ola Toivonen and Francisco Rodriguez delivered the big win for PSV.

Ajax was lucky to get an early lead against VVV-Venlo and maintain that thin advantage until the end. Club topscorer Mounir El Hamdaoui scored the opening goal when he passed goal keeper Kevin Begois and was effective with his left foot.

Ajax had some possibilities to extend that lead, but their attempts were not very convincing. VVV finished the match with 10 men after Ken Leemans received his second yellow card for bringing down Christian Eriksen.

The audience in the Amsterdam Arena was not entertained in the second half and only applauded when striker Luis Suarez, who moved to Liverpool in the January transfer window, said goodbye to the fans after the match.

On Saturday FC Groningen suffered a surprising 4-1 home defeat against Roda JC Kerkrade. Mads Junker produced the first three goals of the visitors.

In the final 10 minutes Groningen captain Andreas Granqvist missed a penalty, Nicklas Pedersen scored and Roda substitute Boldizsar Bodor made it 4-1 in injury-time.

ADO Den Haag and Feyenoord drew 2-2 on Sunday, Vitesse beat De Graafschap 2-0, Excelsior defeated bottom club Willem II 4-0 on Saturday, SC Heerenveen lost 2-0 at home to AZ Alkmaar and on Friday FC Utrecht dropped two points against Heracles Almelo (1-1).

PSV now lead the Eredivisie with 53 point, Twente are two points behind, Ajax are on 48 points and Groningen are nine points behind PSV. Next week PSV will play Ajax in Eindhoven.

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