Soccer-Vitesse home defeat by Alkmaar hits title hopes


Feb 4 (Reuters) - Vitesse Arnhem's Dutch title hopes suffered a severe blow when they lost 2-0 at home to AZ Alkmaar after an own goal and a strike by U.S. international Aron Johannsson on Tuesday.

The result leaves Vitesse, seeking a first Dutch championship success, in second place, two points behind leaders Ajax Amsterdam but having played a game more than their rivals.

Defender Patrick van Aanholt turned the ball into his own net after 20 minutes and a further defensive lapse allowed Johannsson to add a second for the visitors before the break.

Vitesse, who have been league runners-up four times but last achieved the feat almost a century ago, have suddenly lost form with two successive draws followed by Tuesday's home loss.

Feyenoord's Lex Immers and Samuel Armenteros scored first-half goals as they moved within four points of top spot with a 2-1 win at Roda JC Kerkrade, who are now in the relegation zone.

It was the Rotterdam side's first game since coach Ronald Koeman announced he would be leaving at the end of the season.

Roda have won only once in five league matches since Jon Dahl Tomasson was appointed coach in December and had to endure much whistle blowing and derision from their own supporters.

Mark Uth scored twice for Heracles Almelo who won 3-0 away to keep hosts ADO Den Haag bottom of the standings. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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