Sparta Rotterdam beat Groningen 2-1 to end their winless run and move them off the bottom of the table.

The hosts went into the game in poor form and with only six points from nine games, but on 22 minutes they took the lead through Robert Muhren, who tapped in on the rebound after Sergio Padt saved from Deroy Duarte.

Groningen looked poor going forward without the suspended Mimoun Mahi and Oussama Idrissi, but they equalised on 36 minutes with 17-year-old Ludovit Reis allowed space to rifle a strike into the net from outside the box. Only Arjen Robben and Richairo Zivkovic were younger when they netted their first goal for Groningen.

Two minutes before the break, Sparta were awarded a soft-looking penalty for an aerial challenge in the box, and Loris Brogno netted from the spot to make it 2-1.

The second half saw Groningen come close to the equaliser on several occasions but both Tom van Weert and Juninho Bacuna hit the woodwork. Just before the end, Mark Veenhoven saw red to reduce Sparta to ten-men but they held on for the victory.

Sparta rise to 15th in the table, while Groningen are only one spot ahead.




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