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By ESPN Staff

VVV-Venlo retain Eredivisie status

Danny Holla was the hero for VVV-Venlo once more as they retained their Eredivisie status following a hard-fought draw in the second leg of their play-off against Helmond Sport.

Holla scored the winner in the first leg on Thursday and he scored a brace on Sunday, including a second-half penalty to help the hosts retain their place in the top flight against a Helmond side who were hoping to earn promotion.

He broke the deadlock before strikes from Sebastian Stachnik and Zarko Grabovac gave the visitors a 2-1 lead and levelled the tie after just 14 minutes, but Holla's spot-kick midway through the second half handed VVV the initiative again and they held on to the relief of the home fans.

They headed into the clash in positive mood having claimed a 2-1 win in Helmond, and Holla was on-target in the sixth minute as VVV went two goals to the good on aggregate.

Wildschut picked out the 24-year-old Holla and he hammered the ball past Helmond goalkeeper Bjorn Sengier from 22 yards.

Spurred into action, Helmond responded three minutes later with Stachnik heading home from Jop van der Linden's free-kick, and VVV were exposed from a set-piece once more as Zarko Grabovac headed past Dennis Gentenaar from Van der Linden's corner.

Following a frantic opening, the tie settled down somewhat although VVV winger Frank Berghuis forced Sengier to make a fine save.

Eight minutes after the interval, Grabovac had a fantastic opportunity after going through on goal but his touch was poor and Gentenaar was just able to gather the ball.

VVV were looking nervous but in a rare attack, they earned a penalty in the 68th minute when Wildschut was hauled down in the area by Philipp Haastrup.

Holla stepped up and coolly drove the ball down the middle of the goal to ensure the hosts took an aggregate lead again. To no surprise, VVV then set out to protect their narrow advantage and although they looked edgy on occasions, they managed to repel Helmond's attackers.


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