Ajax made a slow start but finally went ahead 12 minutes after the break, skipper Rafael van der Vaart converting a Nicolea Mitea assist. South African Glen Salmon equalised in the 75th minute but Maxwell's cross was headed home by Heitinga four minutes from time to give Ajax their 22nd victory of the season ahead of next Sunday's visit to third-placed Feyenoord.
PSV won 4-0 at RKC Waalwijk on Saturday. Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink opened the scoring in the ninth minute and they made the game safe in the second-half with two goals inside five minutes from Mateja Kezman and Park Ji-sung. Kezman picked up his second with eight minutes to go.
Feyenoord, in third position, turned on the style in the second half of their match at NAC Breda to win 3-0. Centre-back Peter van den Berg broke the deadlock six minutes after the break before Thomas Buffel struck twice to finish the job and raise his goalscoring tally for the campaign to 14.
Fourth-placed AZ Alkmaar kept up their push for a European place with a 2-1 home success against struggling SBV Vitesse, Martijn Meerdink and Robin Nelisse collecting the goals in the 52nd and 56th minutes. Mika Väyrynen's late effort handed SC Heerenveen, in fifth, a 1-0 victory at Roda JC.
Dutch Cup finalists FC Utrecht, meanwhile, came from behind twice to beat lowly ADO Den Haag 5-3 in a thriller. ADO took the lead through Youssef El Akchaoui after three minutes but Patrick Zwaanswijk quickly replied only for Roy Stroeve to put the visitors back in front. This time their advantage lasted just a minute before Dave van den Bergh equalised. Zwaanswijk then put Utrecht ahead with his second goal only for Romeo Castelan to bring ADO level at 3-3. After the break, Utrecht wrapped up the points when Van den Bergh and Donny de Groot tucked away.
Bottom club FC Zwolle took a point from their trip to RBC Roosendaal in a 1-1 draw, but they saw the side directly above them, FC Volendam, take all three points courtesy of a 2-1 win at FC Twente. On Friday, NEC Nijmegen scored four unanswered goals against Willem II with Youssouf Hersi twice on target and Rob Wielaert and Zico Tumba also chipping in.
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