Sparta Rotterdam’s hopes of beating relegation got a boost on Saturday as they defeated Groningen 2-1 in the Euroborg.

Sparta went into the game already knowing Fortuna Sittard had defeated Twente and that Willem II were ahead. The pressure was on the Rotterdam side.

Groningen got the first big chance through Neraysho Kasanwirjo, but goalkeeper Maduka Okoye made an excellent save. In the 20th minute, it was Sparta who had the lead with Arno Verschueren racing through on goal before clipping the ball over Peter Leeuwenburgh and into the net.

Groningen looked for the equaliser but Tomas Suslov, Bjorn Meijer and Bart van Hintum all wasted chances. Vito van Crooy also failed to make it 2-0 at the other end just before the break.

After 57 minutes, Lennart Thy did make it 2-0 after capitalising on a huge mistake by Leeuwenburgh, who let the ball slip through his legs.

Meijer pulled one back for Groningen in the 77th minute, but Sparta then shut up shop and they managed to hold on to the lead despite the pressure from the home side.

Groningen remains 8th while Sparta are 17th. The Rotterdammers are three points from safety with two games left.

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