PEC Zwolle have strengthened their position in fourth after coming from behind to defeat Excelsior 2-1.

Excelsior went into the game on the back of three straight defeats and coach Mitchell van der Gaag decided to drop goalkeeper Ögmundur Kristinsson for the experienced Theo Zwarthoed.

The first half was goalless but three minutes into the second period, Excelsior were awarded a penalty after a foul by Dirk Marcellis. Mike van Duinen netted from the spot to make it 1-0. However, the lead only lasted a minute before Mustafa Saymak tapped in a Ryan Thomas cross.

With 25 minutes left, Younes Namli fired a free-kick past Zwarthoed to give PEC Zwolle a 2-1 lead. Excelsior went in search of an equaliser, but Stanley Albers was shown a red card near the end as PEC Zwolle held on for the three points.

PEC Zwolle move level on points with third place Ajax, while Excelsior are 11th.

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