Sparta Rotterdam kept their hopes of a European playoff spot alive with a 2-1 win at Groningen.

Arjen Robben returned to the Groningen squad but was only fit enough for a place on the bench. He watched on as Sparta took the lead in the 27th minute. Abdou Harroui found the top corner with an unstoppable strike.

Ten minutes into the second half, Sparta doubled their lead when Tom Beugelsdijk tapped in from close range after Lennart Thy had hit the post.

Robben then appeared from the bench but it was fellow substitute, Ramon Pascal Lundqvist, who had the bigger impact as he pulled one back in the 87th minute.

Paulos Abraham should have equalised in injury time but the youngster could not put the ball in an empty net.

Sparta survived and they are now 9th and two points off Heracles, who are in the final European playoff spot. Groningen are 7th.

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