After three straight defeats, Heerenveen returned to winning ways against Sparta Rotterdam.

Jurgen Streppel’s side went into the game on the back of the hammering they received against Heracles at the weekend and their lack of confidence was evident in the opening stages.

Reza Ghoochannejhad had the hosts best chance of the first half, but the striker had his shot cleared off the line after he rounded Sparta keeper Ryan Korsmit.

Ten minutes into the second half their was relief at the Abe Lenstra Stadion as Pelle van Amersfoort found the net with a lovely finish from a tight angle. On 72 minutes, Joost van Aken doubled the lead with a flicked header into the top corner from a free-kick.

Reza then sealed Heerenveen’s win ten minutes from time but the forward knew little about his finish. Korsmit saved Sam Larsson’s shot but could only deflect if off Reza and into the net.

The win keeps Heerenveen in eighth but they close in on the play-off places while Sparta stay 13th.

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