AMSTERDAM, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Timmy Simons converted a late penalty to hand leaders PSV Eindhoven a 1-0 victory at Willem II Tilburg in the Dutch league on Saturday.
PSV struggled against their lowly neighbours but were awarded a penalty six minutes from time when goalkeeper Maikel Aerts fouled Ibrahim Afellay and Simons broke the deadlock.
With nine matches remaining PSV are top with 56 points, nine ahead of Ajax Amsterdam, who thrashed visiting Sparta Rotterdam 6-2 on Friday. Heerenveen are third with 45 points after being held to a 2-2 draw at Heracles Almelo.
Roy Beerens opened the scoring for Heerenveen after 17 minutes before Gonzalo Garcia-Garcia, on loan from Heerenveen, equalised shortly afterwards.
Beerens set up Miralem Sulejmani to restore the lead after half-an-hour but with 10 minutes left Robbert Schilder salvaged a point for Heracles, who finished with 10 men after a second yellow card for Rahim Ouedraogo.
Roland Lamah and Willem Janssen gave Roda JC Kerkrade a two-goal lead at home to Twente Enschede, who replied before the break when Blaise N'Kufo got his 19th goal of the season.
However, Dieter van Tornhout sealed victory when he netted a rebound midway through the second half for Roda who leapfrogged Twente into seventh spot with 40 points, one above Twente.
Basement side Excelsior Rotterdam won 1-0 win at NEC Nijmegen, with Geert den Ouden scoring after 70 minutes, to climb three places to 15th with 22 points.
They are now above Tilburg (20), who have slipped to the bottom, VVV Venlo (20) and Sparta Rotterdam (21).