ROOSENDAAL, April 1 (Eredivisie) - For a long time, PSV Eindhoven must have felt like April fools against the Eredivisie's biggest losers RBC Roosendaal.
Eventually, however, they rallied to claim three points that bring the title within touching distance and mathematically relegate their opponents.
PSV's coronation could come next week against Groningen although if AZ Alkmaar drop points on Sunday they will win their third title in four seasons without having to kick a ball in anger.
When Ebrima Sillah gave RBC a first-half lead it looked as though the team that has won only one match all season could be set for a stunning upset.
Second-half goals from Ibrahim Afellay and Alex secured the points for PSV and sealed RBC's fate in what has been a dismal campaign.
RBC went down fighting and after 12 minutes Jorge Acuna created a chance for Tim Smolders who fired over.
At the other end PSV's Jefferson Farfan curled a shot over the bar after half an hour but within a minute RBC were in front.
Ali Elkhattabi played in a cross from the left and Sillah netted from 10 yards out.
PSV, whose coach Guus Hiddink may be unveiled as Russia coach next week, tried to hit back and Alex forced a save just before the break from Mark Volders.
In the second half, PSV got their game together and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink forced Volders to make another save from 16 yards.
PSV equalised after an hour as Afellay tried his luck from 25 yards and outfoxed Volders.
It did not take long for PSV to edge in front as Alex curled in a superb free-kick from 20 yards with Volders having no chance.
To their credit the Eredivisie whipping boys were not beaten yet and after 68 minutes Bjorn Daelemans had a crack from 14 yards but Heurelho Gomes tipped the ball over the bar.
Afellay missed to the right with a shot but RBC finished with one more attempt.
Acuna played in a dangerous free-kick which Robert Molenaar met with his head but Gomes managed to foil the former Leeds United player.
RBC were doomed and PSV may be able to celebrate as early as Sunday if AZ fail to beat NAC Breda.