AZ Alkmaar have moved to fourth after a 2-1 victory over Heerenveen in Friesland.

The home side went into the game in a poor run of form and without star man Sebastien Larsson who was suspended. AZ took control from the start and on 17 minutes they took the lead through Maumer Tankovic, who netted from close range after Wout Weghorst’s effort was parried by Erwin Mulder.

Before the break, Heerenveen nearly equalised but Morten Thorsby’s effort came back off the post.

Just before the hour mark it was 2-0 for AZ as a clearance fell to Illias Bel Hassani on the edge of the box and the midfielder volleyed into the bottom corner. Mulder got his hands to the strike but couldn’t keep it out.

Ten minutes before the end, Reza Ghoochannejhad pulled one back for the hosts, who went looking for an equaliser in the final stages but AZ held on. Jerry st Juste was sent off in the final seconds for the hosts after being shown his 2nd yellow.

AZ now rise above Heerenveen and Utrecht into fourth with the Frisian’s dropping to 6th.

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