Feyenoord suffer second defeat, but Ajax fail to profit in Dutch league

Indo Asian News Service

The Hague (Netherlands), March 6 (IANS) One week after their 2-1 win over PSV Eindhoven, Dutch football league leaders Feyenoord suffered their second defeat of the Eredivisie season in the Rotterdam derby at Sparta. But AFC Ajax were held FC Groningen 1-1, failing to reduce the gap to Ajax.

Mathias Pogba, the brother of Manchester United star Paul Pogba, headed in a cross from Jerson Cabral to give Sparta the lead within the first minute on Sunday, reports Xinhua news agency.

Feyenoord were not able to bounce back from that early blow and suffered more setbacks when Terence Kongolo and Eljero Elia fell out with injuries.

Substitute Bilal Basacikoglu finally produced the equaliser for Feyenoord in the second half, but his goal was disallowed by referee Danny Makkelie.

The TV images showed the referee was wrong because the ball had crossed the line. Feyenoord suffered only their second defeat in 25 matches this season and a streak of 10 victories in a row came to an end.

Also on Sunday, Feyenoord's match was followed by AFC Ajax' match at against FC Groningen. The Amsterdam-based team needed a win to close the gap to two points. However, Ajax came from behind in Groningen after goalkeeper Andre Onana lost the ball to Bryan Linssen in the 56th minute.

Ajax captain Davy Klaassen equalised in the 82nd minute, but also with 11 against 10 (after a red card for Groningen defender Samir Memisevic) the visitors were not able to move on to a winning goal. Just like Feyenoord, Ajax dropped their first points of 2017 on Sunday.

Feyenoord still lead the Eredivisie with 63 points from 25 match rounds, with Ajax now following on four points. PSV Eindhoven are third with a total of 55 points.