PEC Zwolle stopped their run of four straight defeats by hammering Cambuur 6-1 with Stef Nijland hitting a hat-trick.

000000 nijlCoach Ron Jans welcomed back striker Tomas Necid for the first time since he re-signed in January, and the tall Czech’s return seemed to inject some confidence in the home side.

After 30 minutes PEC Zwolle had the lead when Jesper Drost evaded a challenge in the box before firing past Leonard Nienhuis, via the post. Five minutes later it was 2-0 as Maikel van der Werff smashed a free kick past Nienhuis from just outside the box.

Just after the hour mark Jody Lukoki’s cross was headed back across goal by Tomas Necid and Ryan Thomas nodded PEC Zwolle’s third in from close range. Necid was then replaced by Stef Nijland, and on 70 minutes the substitute earned a penalty, which he then smashed into the top corner to make it 4-0.

Mikhael Rosheuvel pulled one back for Cambuur, but their joy was short lived as Nijland made it 5-1 on 80 minutes, slotting in Drost’s cross. Nijland then completed his hat-trick in style as he sent a perfect lob into the top corner from just outside the box.

The win lifts PEC Zwolle up to fifth and they remain in the hunt for the top three, while Cambuur sit 9th.

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