Vitesse Arnhem overcame a first-half dismissal to beat FC Groningen 3-0 and climb to second in the table.
Last Updated: 16/09/12 8:34pm
Vitesse Arnhem overcame the first-half dismissal of Jan-Arie van der Heijden to beat FC Groningen 3-0 and climb to second in the Eredivisie.
Van der Heijden's dismissal was the talking point of the match, with referee Bas Nijhuis showing the defender a straight red card on the half-hour mark for a seemingly innocuous push on Mitchell Schet.
The visitors were furious with the decision and Groningen almost made their numerical advantage count when Kees Kwakman struck the crossbar soon after.
However, Vitesse came out fighting after the interval and were in front in the 63rd minute when Mike Havenaar headed home Patrick van Aanholt's cross.
Tomas Kalas then added another three minutes from time with Havenaar teeing up the defender, and Wilfried Bony had the final say in stoppage time with his finish to another perfect ball from Van Aanholt.
The win leaves unbeaten Vitesse two points behind leaders FC Twente having won four of their opening five fixtures.
FC Utrecht also defied the odds as they battled red cards for Anouar Kali and Alexander Gerndt to post an unlikely 1-0 victory over PSV Eindhoven.
It was a poor day at the office for Dick Advocaat's side, who were fortunate not to be trailing after 25 minutes when a header from Mike van der Hoorn came back off the post.
Their luck appeared to have changed when Kali was shown a second yellow card for Utrecht after 70 minutes but the hosts responded to the challenge with the opening goal two minutes later from a Dave Bulthuis free-kick.
Another red card followed for Gerndt 10 minutes from time for a clumsy challenge on Mark van Bommel but the fight had already gone out of PSV.
Jozy Altidore scored a hat-trick and set up team-mate Erik Falkenburg for his goal as AZ Alkmaar thrashed Roda JC 4-0.
The United States striker opened the scoring after 13 minutes, slamming home a cross from Viktor Elm, and then provided the assist for Falkenburg to make it 2-0 after 29 minutes.
Altidore breached Roda's defence again five minutes before the interval, running on to a perfect ball from Maarten Martens before slipping a shot past goalkeeper Filip Kurto.
And the scoring was completed after 65 minutes when Adam Maher played a ball between the central defenders and Altidore applied the final touch to round off his treble.
Heracles Almelo enjoyed their first win of the campaign with a 2-1 result over NAC Breda courtesy of Everton's stoppage-time strike.
Alex Schalk had fired NAC in front after 14 minute from close range and the match appeared to be heading their way until the final nine minutes.
Willy Overtoom, who had earlier hit the crossbar with a free-kick, headed in the equaliser from Everton's assist before the Brazilian striker snatched a winner three minutes into stoppage time to send the home crowd into raptures.