AMSTERDAM, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Ajax Amsterdam scored two first half goals to sink Roda JC Kerkrade 2-0 on Wednesday and move into second in the Dutch League at the expense of AZ Alkmaar, who lost 3-0 at Twente Enschede.
Wesley Sneijder opened the scoring for the Amsterdam side, who were punished by coach Henk ten Cate with a extra training session over Christmas after Sunday's humiliating 4-2 defeat at Vitesse Arnhem.
Czech Republic defender Zdenek Grygera doubled the lead four minutes before the interval when he nodded home from close range.
In the other key clash, Twente striker Blaise N'Kufo gave his side the lead after 29 minutes with a fierce shot from 16 metres and Otman Bakkal set up Kennedy Bakircioglu two minutes before the break to increase their advantage.
Defender Luke Wilkshire settled the match from close range within the hour.
After 19 matches, PSV Eindhoven are top with 50 points after being held to a 1-1 draw at Feyenoord on Tuesday. Ajax are second with 41, one above Alkmaar. Twente moved into fourth on 38 points.
In other games, Afonso Alves scored his 18th league goal of the season to give Heerenveen the lead at NEC Nijmegen, with Will Johnson making it 2-0 with eight minutes remaining.
NAC Breda fought back from a goal down to beat Vitesse Arnhem 2-1 with Victor Sikora netting the winner a minute before time. Breda climbed four places to eighth.
At the bottom, Santi Kolk struck three minutes before time to salvage a point for ADO Den Haag at home to RKC Waalwijk, who took the lead on the stroke of halftime through Tim Jansen. Both teams remain in the relegation zone with 13 points.