Amsterdam, Netherlands – Jozy Altidore provided AZ Alkmaar with a much-needed shot in the arm on Saturday as he netted a pair of first- half goals in a 2-1 win at Zwolle.
AZ has languished in the bottom half of the Eredivisie for much of the season and the victory is just the fourth for the club in 17 league matches.
Altidore was on target for AZ after only two minutes, and he tallied a second goal 10 minutes before the break, giving the American 11 goals on the season and handing his side a commanding lead.
Zwolle cut the deficit in half in the 56th minute when Denni Avdic found the net for the hosts, but their comeback efforts were handed a setback as Joey Van der Berg was sent off 13 minutes from time.
PSV Eindhoven was held to a 1-1 draw on Saturday at NEC and sits level on 37 points with Twente, while Vitesse can join that group with a win over RKC Waalwijk on Sunday.
PSV was poised to regain the top spot when Mathias Jorgensen scored after 10 minutes.
However, the visitors failed to pad their advantage and paid for it in the 80th minute when Victor Palsson netted the equalizer for NEC.
The other two matches on Saturday failed to produce a goal as NAC And Roda played to a 0-0 draw and Venlo was held to a 0-0 stalemate by Groningen, which played the final 84 minutes of the match with 10 men after Leandro Bacuna was sent off six minutes into the game.