Sparta Rotterdam’s relegation worries deepened on Friday after a 3-2 defeat to local rivals Excelsior. 

The hosts got off to a perfect start when Luis Brogno deflected the ball into the net after some pinball in the box on nine minutes.

However, Excelsior completely turned the game around by half-time. Firstly on 24 minutes, Nigel Hasselbaink headed in a corner to equalise and moments before the break Stanley Elbers made it 2-1 after racing in on goal and slotting the ball through Ryan Korsmit’s legs.

Three minutes into the second half, Excelsior extended their lead with Hasselbaink slotting in his second after a swift counter.

Sparta poured forward looking for a way back into the game but it came to late as Mario Pusic pulled one back from close range with two minutes to go. That was nothing more than a consolation as Excelsior held out for the three points.

Excelsior now climb above Sparta on goal difference and into 13th.

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