FC Twente are facing an uphill battle to avoid finishing in the bottom three after being held to a 1-1 draw by Groningen.

Sparta Rotterdam’s win earlier on Sunday meant Twente slipped to second bottom in the table ahead of their clash with Groningen which would have been seen as a must win by Gertjan Verbeek.

The home side had the better of a goalless first half with Tom Boere and Fredrik Jensen forcing Sergio Padt into good saves, while the former also sent a header over the bar. Groningen went close through Mimoun Mahi who had an effort kept out by Joel Drommel.

Groningen came out strongly in the second half and after Juninho Bacuna went close twice they went ahead through Ritsu Doan, who wriggled free in the box before sending a low strike into the net.

Haris Vuckic almost equalised immediately but after turning in the box he scuffed his shot just over the bar. Jensen also saw another fierce strike pushed past the post by Padt. The equaliser did come with twenty minutes left as Adam Maher’s cross was headed into the bottom corner by Boere.

Boere nearly gave Twente the lead on 75 minutes but his looping header bounced off the crossbar and over. Danny Holla then had a strike cleared off the line. In injury time Boere came close again to getting the winner but Padt pushed his header over the bar and Twente had to settle for a point.

Twente climb back above Sparta but sit five points behind Willem II with eight games left. Groningen are 13th.

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