Michael de Leeuw’s last-minute penalty earned Emmen a 1-1 draw against Sparta Rotterdam.

Emmen went into the game on the back of two straight wins that have given them hope in their battle against relegation. Opponents Sparta, on the other hand, have been hopeless of late with three losses on the bounce.

Out of nowhere, it was Sparta that had the lead in the 43rd minute with Emmen goalkeeper Michael Verrips somehow allowing Laros Duarte’s strike from distance to beat him.

Early in the second half, Verrips kept his side in the game with two excellent saves. At the other end, Michael de Leeuw hit the post, while Maduka Okoye made an excellent save from a free-kick by Caner Cavlan.

It seemed Sparta were set to hang on, but in the 94th minute, Sparta captain Adil Auassar was penalised for a handball in the box. De Leeuw netted the penalty to earn Emmen a point.

Emmen remains bottom of the table but are now only two points behind ADO Den Haag. Sparta are 13th.

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