Ajax keep title race alive
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The highly-rated Dutch youngster pounced on 83 minutes at Twente to preserve Ajax's faint hopes of retaining their crown.
Romanian defender Cristian Chivu put the visitors ahead on 64 minutes from the penalty spot and van der Vaart later netted the second. His strike proved decisive as Collins John bagged an injury-time consolation for Twente.
PSV need only a point from their final match of the season to guarantee the title as they cruised to three points on home soil against Utrecht.
Arnold Bruggink settled the nerves with the opening goal after just three minutes and Mateja Kezman's penalty on the half-hour wrapped up the points.
In next week's final matches, PSV travel to Groningen while Ajax play host to Heerenveen with the defending champions hoping their fierce rivals slip up.
At the bottom end of the table, De Graafschap kept alive their prospects of avoiding automatic relegation with a 1-0 win at home to Groningen, which was sealed courtesy of Dave Zafarin's 44th minute effort.
The win moves them level with Excelsior, who were involved in a thrilling 4-4 draw at home to Vitesse Arnhem.
Said Boutahar put the hosts ahead on four minutes but his goal was cancelled out by Matthew Amoah on 14 minutes before Vitesse were reduced to ten men with the 34th minute dismissal of goalkeeper Dragoslav Jevric.
Brian Pinas put Excelsior back in front, only for Amoah to equalise again before the break and then Steve Olfers gave the hosts the lead once more on 58 minutes.
Gert Claessens levelled matters on 73 minutes and five minutes later, Amoah completed his hat-trick by putting Vitesse in front for the first time in the match but Mounir el Hamdaoui earned Excelsior a share of the spoils late on.
Feyenoord will have to settle for third place following their 1-1 draw at Willem II Tilburg, who took the lead through James Quinn on seven minutes. Bonaventure Kalou grabbed a point for the visitors on 72 minutes.
Roda JC Kerkrade boosted their Uefa Cup aspirations as Yuri Cornelisse's 20th minute own goal earning the hosts victory over RKC Waalwijk as NEC Nijmegen drew a blank against FC Zwolle.
NAC Breda remain in the hunt for a European berth after a stunning 4-0 home thrashing of AZ Alkmaar.
Rob Penders and Alfred Schreuder gave the hosts a half-time advantage and their goals were added to by Orlando Engelaar's penalty and Marcel Koning's last minute effort.
Heerenveen were in rampant mood on home soil and waved goodbye to their own fans in perfect style with a 6-0 demolition of RBC Roosendaal.
The hosts were in control from the opening whistle as Mika Nurmela scored within a minute and goals from Gerald Sibon, Romano Denneboom and John de Jong put Heerenveen in the ascendency inside 24 minutes.
After the break, de Jong nicked his second goal of the match and Daniel Jensen completed the scoring on 55 minutes.
Click below for an individual match summary:
De Graafschap 1-0 FC Groningen
Excelsior 4-4 Vitesse
FC Twente 1-2 Ajax
Heerenveen 6-0 RBC
NAC 4-0 AZ Alkmaar
NEC 0-0 FC Zwolle
PSV 2-0 FC Utrecht
Roda JC 1-0 RKC
Willem II 1-1 Feyenoord