Sunday, April 29, 2012
Ajax take decisive step towards title
Ajax all but wrapped up the Eredivisie title with a 2-1 victory over FC Twente that leaves them six points clear of their closest challengers Feyenoord with two games remaining.
• Saturday's Eredivisie review
Gregory van der Wiel scored the winner 12 minutes from time to leave the Amsterdammers a point away from confirming their 31st Eredivisie title triumph.
In truth, Ronaldo De Boer's side can almost certainly afford to lose their final two games and still finish first as they have a 24-goal advantage over closest rivals Feyenoord.
Theo Janssen's penalty put Ajax ahead in the 30th minute only for Leroy Fer to level after the break. However, Van der Wiel then intervened to end Twente's own slim title hopes.
Otman Bakkal scored the only goal to keep Feyenoord's faint hopes alive and knock opponents AZ Alkmaar out of the race for the championship with a 1-0 win.
Bakkal struck early in the second half as AZ slipped nine points behind the leaders and will now focus on ensuring a top-three finish and European football next season.
PSV Eindhoven maintained their hopes of a top-three finish with a 3-1 victory at 10-man Roda JC.
Goals from Dries Mertens, Marcelo and Memphis Depay secured the points for the visitors, who also missed a penalty through Jeremain Lens in an incident which saw Roda goalkeeper Pawel Kieszek sent off.
The result enabled PSV to record their fourth successive win as they mount a late bid for an automatic European spot.
Sanharib Malki scored the only reply for Roda, whose challenge for a Europa League play-off place was ended with the defeat.
Two goals in the space of as many second-half minutes ensured mid-table pair NEC Nijmegen and RKC Waalwijk shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at De Goffert.The result means both sides can still qualify for the Europa League play-offs by finishing eighth, but neither got the victory that would have really bolstered their hopes.NEC substitute Melvin Platje gave his side the lead in the 58th minute, only for the equaliser to come almost immediately through Rick ten Voorde.