Ruiz hat-trick keeps Twente on course for title

ROTTERDAM - A Bryan Ruiz hat-trick in four minutes gave leaders Twente Enschede a 3-0 home victory over 10-man Sparta Rotterdam in the Dutch league on Saturday.

Kenneth Perez set up the first goal just after the break and three minutes later Costa Rican Ruiz converted a penalty with Milano Koenders sent off after a second booking for the foul.

Ruiz grabbed his third just a minute later to wrap up the victory and extend Twente's lead over Ajax Amsterdam to seven points with five matches remaining.

Jeremain Lens got a hat-trick for AZ Alkmaar as they beat visiting Heracles Almelo 3-2 to move level on 51 points with fourth-placed Feyenoord, who travelled to NEC Nijmegen on Sunday and now have two games in hand of AZ.

Lens put Alkmaar on track for victory with goals in the 40th and 64th minutes but Darl Douglas and Samuel Armenteros replied for Heracles before Lens sealed victory six minutes from time.

At the other end of the table, Vitesse Arnhem beat second-bottom side Willem II Tilburg 2-1 to move three points clear of the relegation zone in 14th place.

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