The Hague, March 20 (IANS) Dutch Eredivisie leaders Feyenoord booked a crucial 2-1 win at SC Heerenveen with main rivals Ajax Amsterdam dropping points following a 1-1 draw at Excelsior.

Heerenveen were the better side in the first half against Feyenoord and took the lead in the 18th minute of Sunday evening’s encounter, reports Xinhua news agency.

Heerenveen striker Reza Ghoochannejhad was brought down by Miquel Nelom and the Iranian converted the penalty himself. Thanks to several saves by their goalkeeper Brad Jones, Feyenoord only conceded one goal in the first half.

The second half was the opposite of the first session with Feyenoord dominating the proceedings. The visitors bounced back through a tip-in by Nicolai Jorgensen and a cracking diagonal shot by Tonny Vilhena to secure a 2-1 win.

Later on Sunday, Ajax were forced to share points by a spirited Excelsior.

Excelsior capitalised on a mistake by 17-year-old defender Matthijs de Ligt — who received his first call-up for the Dutch national team last Friday — took the lead through Mike van Duinen. The Excelsior forward’s shot was deflected by Ajax defender Kenny Tete before bulging the net.

Justin Kluivert, the son of former Ajax star Patrick Kluivert, equalised, but Ajax hardly created any more chances and had to settle for a 1-1 draw.

Feyenoord now have 69 points. They lead to second placed Ajax by six points. PSV are third with 61 points while FC Utrecht are fourth with 44.

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