ROTTERDAM, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Dutch clubs held a minute's silence and teams wore black arm bands before Saturday's professional soccer matches in memory of a linesman who died following an incident during a youth competition last weekend.
Richard Nieuwenhuizen, 41, was attacked while officiating for the Buitenboys team in an under-17 match in Almere last Sunday and died the following day. Four teenage Nieuw-Sloten Amsterdam players have been arrested.
After the mark of respect among the top flight clubs on Saturday, Ajax Amsterdam's Derk Boerrigter and Lasse Schone scored to earn a 2-0 home win over Groningen and cut the gap with leaders Twente Enschede to a point.
Twente, who visit third-placed PSV Eindhoven on Sunday, have 34 points and lead the standings on goal difference from Vitesse Arnhem who will travel to lowly VVV Venlo.
Ajax midfielder Siem de Jong missed a penalty in the 13th minute when Luciano saved his spot kick but three minutes before halftime they did take the lead when Boerrigter received the ball with his back to the goal, turned and finished.
Eight minutes into the second half Ajax were awarded another penalty after De Jong was held. This time Lasse Schone converted to seal a fifth straight win and put fourth-placed Ajax level on 33 points with PSV.
"Groningen tried to put us under pressure and we lacked the right answer to that... because not everyone in our team showed their best form today," said captain De Jong.
"But the most important thing was the win so now we can sit back and relax and see how the others do on Sunday."
Mid-table RKC Waalwijk beat NEC Nijmegen 2-0, with Cuco Martina and Florian Jozefzoon scoring each scoring a goal either side of halftime, to move into eighth spot with 20 points.
ADO Den Haag and AZ Alkmaar were held to home draws by PEC Zwolle and Willem II Tilburg respectively. (Writing by Theo Ruizenaar; Editing by Ken Ferris)