Twente beat Venlo to close in on title

ROTTERDAM - Strikers Blaise Nkufo and Bryan Ruiz earned Twente Enschede a 2-0 win at VVV Venlo on Saturday that took Steve McClaren's team seven points clear at the top of the Dutch league.

Twente, chasing their first title, controlled the match and it was no surprise when a 38th-minute corner from Theo Janssen was converted by Nkufo from close range.

VVV Venlo, 14th in the table, created few chances and two minutes before the end Ruiz took his goal tally in the league this season to 23 with a shot from a tight angle.

Maarten Martens and Mounir El Hamdaoui (penalty) secured a 2-0 home win for AZ Alkmaar over Utrecht.

Utrecht finished with 10 men after Canadian Jacob Lensky was sent off for a professional foul in the 75th minute.

Alkmaar remained fifth with 54 points.

Roda JC Kerkrade thrashed bottom side RKC Waalwijk 5-1, Mads Junker scoring a second half hat-trick inside 19 minutes.

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