Vitesse Arnhem took advantage of AZ Alkmaar’s failure in front of goal to record a 2-1 win at the GelreDome.

AZ booked their place in the KNVB Cup semi-finals in midweek and after only a few minutes they had an excellent chance to take the lead in Arnhem. However, Ben Rienstra incredibly struck the crossbar from only a few yards out.

Vitesse then went straight down the other end and took the lead with Sergio Rochet beaten by a tame Lewis Baker effort. Ricky van Wolfswinkel thought he had doubled Vitesse’s lead soon after but his effort was ruled out for offside, although replays showed that decision was harsh on the striker.

At half time, John van den Brom rang the changes with Fred Friday and Illias┬áBel Hassani taking to the field. However, it didn’t have an immediate effect as Vitesse doubled their lead six minutes into the second half through Nathan, who took advantage of indecision in the AZ defence to net.

On 64 minutes, AZ were gifted a lifeline as Guram Kashia strangely headed into his own net from close range after Eloy Room had saved Levi Garcia’s effort. AZ then went in search of the equalising goal but Derrick Luckassen and Rienstra both wasted excellent opportunities late on and Vitesse held on.

The win puts Vitesse seventh in the table and only three points behind Heerenveen in fourth. AZ remain 5th and will have to do without Wout Weghorst and Ridgeciano Haps for the tie against PSV next week after they picked up suspensions during the game.

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