AZ Alkmaar blew the chance to climb into third after a 2-1 defeat at Willem II.

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AZ turned up in Tilburg on the back of five straight victories and they had the chance to move above Feyenoord on goal difference if they defeated Willem II.

However, Willem II were the better side from the start and they took the lead in the 13th minute when a simple ball over the top set Marious Vrousai in on goal and the forward headed past an onrushing Marco Bizot.

It was 2-0 on the half-hour mark when Damil Dankerlui was allowed to race into the AZ box unchallenged before crossing for Daniel Crowley to tap in.

AZ improved after the break but they couldn’t find a way back into the game until the 78th minute. Guus Til found himself free in the box and he smashed the ball into the top corner.

Ron Vlaar was pushed forward as AZ went direct looking for an equaliser but Willem II held on to condemn the visitors to their first defeat of 2019.

AZ stay fourth while Willem II are 10th. The two clubs will go head to head again in Tilburg on Thursday in the KNVB Cup semi-finals.

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