AZ Alkmaar finally returned to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Heracles Almelo.

After four games without a victory, AZ’s chances of finishing third are all but over, while Heracles are still looking to cement their place in the European playoffs.

After eight minutes, Calvin Stengs gave AZ Alkmaar the lead with a stunning strike from just outside the box that flew past Janis Blaswich.

Marco Bizot prevented Adrian Dalmau from making it 1-1 but in the 42nd minute, Heracles did equalise. Brandley Kuwas raced into the box and after his initial shot was blocked by Teun Koopmeiners, the winger slotted the ball past Bizot.

Koopmeiners thought he had restored AZ’s lead early in the second half but his strike from a free-kick was disallowed for offside.

In the 66th minute it was 2-1 with Albert Gudmundsson firing past Blaswich from close range after his initial effort hit the post. Moments later, Heracles almost equalised with Bizot pushing a Lerin Duarte effort onto the post.

AZ saw out the last twenty minutes to seal victory and end their winless run. AZ are fourth and will be hoping that Ajax win the KNVB Cup final in order to make it a Europa League spot and avoid the playoffs. Heracles are 5th.

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