Ajax empty-handed again

Ajax empty-handed again

Ajax waisted another chance to gain on PSV. They lost 2-1 at Roda JC. ,,This was a crucial match”, Adrie Koster said. ,,We were the better team, but are left empty-handed again.”

,,We were determined to win the three points here”, coach Adrie Koster said. ,,You know the competition dropped points and that you can gain on them. But we weren't sharp enough. We still have a number of games to play, but it gets more and more difficult to catch up to PSV.” The match PSV - Heerenveen ened in 1-1 on Saturday. If Ajax would have won, they would have narrowed the gap to six points. Now they are nine points behind and Heerenveen has gone past Ajax into second place with a better goal difference. Feyenoord and NAC have 44 points from 24 matches, just like Ajax and Heerenveen.

Luis Suarez began on the bench. He was too tired to play a full match after playing with Uruguay. Kenneth Perez started on the left wing and Siem de Jong played behind striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar. In this new lineup, Ajax had some chances in the beginning (shots by Huntelaar and De Jong), but Roda were the first to score. In the 22nd minute Roland Lamah had a free path toward the Ajax goal and he defeated Maarten Stekelenburg. ,,Those are just presents”, Koster said. Ajax levelled after 38 minutes through Klaas Jan Huntelaar. Bruno Silva crossed to De Jong, who headed it back to Huntelaar. Minutes before, Ajax scored too, but a goal by Rasmus Lindgren was disallowed because John Heitinga obstructed Roda's goalkeeper Bram Castro.

With two substitutions (Rommedahl for Kennedy and Suarez for Perez), Ajax upped the pressure in the second half. Bruno Silva curled in a free kick after 49 minutes, but again the goal was disallowed, this time because of offside by Huntelaar. Koster disagreed with the referee. ,,Incredible that the goal was disallowed”, said the coach, who was not very happy with the referees. ,,This are very important moments. We should have had a penalty in the first half when Saeijs made a hand ball, but nothing.”

Ajax were the better team in both halves. De Jong stood out with nice passes and good moves, but his teammates could not capitalise. ,,We were not accurate enough”, Koster said. ,,We had the opportunities, but we didn't finish them.” Anouar Hadouir gave Roda JC the win in the 79th minute. Thomas Vermaelen, who otherwise played a great match, lost the ball on the end line to Dieter Van Tornhout. The Belgian crossed to Anouar Hadouir, who headed the ball in. ,,We can't do anything but focus on the next match'', Koster said.