AZ keeps the pressure on Ajax; FC Groningen match is suspended
AZ Alkmaar followed up their victory over Anderlecht on penalties on Thursday with a straightforward victory over RKC Waalwijk at the weekend. Pascal Jansen's side won 3-0 with goals from Sven Mijnans, Mayckel Lahdo, and Myron van Brederode. They are now just three points behind Ajax, who are in third position.
The deadlock was broken after only seven minutes when Yukinari Sugawara put a perfect cross into Mijnans, who easily placed his header into the far corner. AZ was already missing attackers Jesper Karlsson and Vangelis Pavlidis and was hit with another blow when Jens Odgaard was brought off with a stretcher. The Alkmaarders will be hoping that Karlsson and Pavlidis can return swiftly for the season's final matches with one eye on the UEFA Conference League semi-final against West Ham United.
However, It did not hinder AZ in this match as Lahdo made it 2-0 within five minutes of the second half starting when he smashed his shot in off the bar in spectacular fashion. RKC Waalwijk did not offer much resistance as van Brederode was given a tap-in off midfielder Tijjani Rijnders to finish the scoring at 3-0.
More incidents of crowd trouble came to the fore as FC Groningen's fixture against NEC Nijmegen was suspended when a cup of beer thrown by a spectator hit the linesman. According to the new guidelines of the KNVB, a match will be suspended indefinitely if an object hits someone on the pitch. It has since been announced that the remaining 72 minutes of the match will be played on Tuesday at 15:00 with no crowd present.
To make matters worse, Groningen seems nailed on to be relegated after this weekend. Two of their relegation rivals, Excelsior and FC Emmen, picked up points. Excelsior drew 0-0 away to Vitesse. Emmen won away to SC Heerenveen thanks to a hat trick from Ole Romeny.
Groningen is 17th and is 11 points away from Excelsior, who are 16th and in the relegation play off spot. Eight matches remain for Groningen after they finish the game against NEC on Tuesday.