Ajax beat Feyenoord 2-1 to close in on Dutch league rivals

Indo Asian News Service

Amsterdam, April 2 (IANS) Ajax bested Dutch football league leaders Feyenoord Rotterdam 2-1 to jump to the second spot ahead of PSV Eindhoven at the Amsterdam Arena here on Sunday.

The home team had the start it wanted with a very early goal by Lasse Schone. The Danish midfielder smashed in a free kick via the cross-bar to make it 1-0 in the first minute, reports Xinhua news agency.

In the remainder of the first half, Peter Bosz-coached Ajax remained the dominating side, while Feyenoord failed to impress. The visitors already missed vital midfielder Tonny Vilhena through suspension and also lost striker Nicolai Jorgensen through injury after 10 minutes. He was replaced by Michiel Kramer.

Ajax central striker Bertrand Traore, who had replaced injured Kasper Dolberg up front, had a major chance to double the scoring but his shot went over the goal.

David Neres did score in the 36th minute. After a pass by Hakim Ziyech the Brazilian, who came over from Sao Paulo in January, finished at the far post. He produced his first Eredivisie goal in his first match as a starter.

Feyenoord suffered another setback with an injury of right back Rick Karsdorp and was replaced by Renato Tapia after half-time.

The Giovanni van Bronckhorst-coached side remained the weaker part of the game in the second half. Ajax had some chances, the biggest once again for Traore, but didn't manage to score more goals.

Kramer produced the only Feyenoord goal in the 90th minute to give slim hopes for the visitors. But Ajax held on to the lead for the victory.

The win means Ajax narrowed the gap with Feyenoord on table to three points, which keeps the Rotterdam club in pole position to grab their first Dutch championship since 1999. Feyenoord are on 69 points after 28 of the 34 match rounds.

PSV Eindhoven also came closer to Feyenoord. The reigning champions beat Sparta Rotterdam 2-0 on Saturday thanks to goals by Jurgen Locadia and Marco van Ginkel and now are on five points from Feyenoord and two points from Ajax.

--IANS

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