,,We're still alive and we're still playing for the title.’’ That was Ajax coach Adrie Koster's summary of the match at FC Groningen (1-2). Just as his players, the coach was modest but happy after Ajax won the match that was cancelled last Sunday.
Tired, but happy and satisfied. That could be said of the Ajax team when they boarded the bus to Amsterdam for the second time in four days. The away match against Groningen, cancelled on Sunday due to fires in the stands, had been won. The gap with league leaders PSV was reduced to three points. The decision will come on Sunday, when PSV play at Vitesse and Ajax host Heracles. If PSV lose and Ajax win, the title goes to Amsterdam.
,,Of course we still depend on PSV's result’’, Koster said. ,,PSV only need to draw. We had to win today to stay in the race. Everyone was eager to win; it was the least we could do. Great that it again comes down to the last round.’’
Earlier the Ajax players left the celebrating to their supporters. Rasmus Lindgren (0-1) and Luis Suarez (1-2) both scored, but showed little joy, illustrating the respect they still have for their former team.
Ajax started strong and took the lead after 18 minute. Kenneth Perez passed the ball from a corner kick to Edgar Davids. The captain crossed to Lindgren, who headed it in: 0-1.
The guests were a little shaken when Matias Cahais headed in the 1-1. The defender struck in the final second of the first half.
Ajax took more risks in the second half, and played one on one in defence. Urby Emanuelson went on offense whenever he could; something Bruno Silva had already been doing from the kickoff. The defender delivered many good crosses from the right flank, all the while being booed by his former supporters. Edgar Davids meanwhile, played a strong match in midfield.
Koster: ,,In the last half hour, it was really open. A match with great moments. And I had predicted the guys would score against their former team.’’
Dennis Rommedahl caped off a short rush with a touch to Luis Suarez. The former Groningen forward put it away with ease. It was enough for three points. Now it all comes down to the last round. ,,I think the pressure is on PSV now’’, Koster said.