Excelsior moved closer to safety with a 2-1 win over Groningen in Rotterdam.

excgron hygMimoun Mahi finally returned to the Groningen starting line-up for the first time in five months, but the attacker couldn’t spark life into a dull first half, which saw neither side really take control.

However, four minutes into the second half Excelsior took the lead as Rick Kruys took advantage of a poor pass from Lorenzo Burnet to set up Tom van Weert for the opening goal. Five minutes later Juninho Bacuna brought down Brandley Kuwas and Jeff Stans doubled Excelsior’s lead from the spot.

Groningen pulled one goal back with twenty minutes to go as Michael de Leeuw nodded in when Oussama Idrissi’s effort cannoned off the woodwork. De Leeuw and Idrissi then had chances to draw Groningen level, but they failed to find the net and Excelsior held on for the three points.

Excelsior now move level with Willem II in 14th place, while Groningen sit 10th.

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