Erik ten Hag made some changes in the starting line against NEC. Perr Schuurs, Nico Tagliafico, Kenneth Taylor and Sébastien Haller were present at the kick off instead of Noussair Mazraoui, Lisandro Martínez, Edson Àlvarez and Brian Brobbey.
Ajax started well at the game in Nijmegen. After just one minute Ajax got its first opportunity to score. Tagliafico rushed into the box of NEC and passed the ball to Davy Klaassen, who headed the ball into the hands of goalkeeper Branderhorst.
Ten minutes later NEC created their first chance. NEC striker Okita got a long ball, made a dribble towards the Ajax goal and got a shot at the goal. But Maarten Stekelenburg responded well and made a great safe. The 39 year old goalie managed to get a hand against the ball in the far corner.
Just after 30 minutes Ajax got a penalty after Jurriën Timber was taken down in the penatly area of NEC. Dusan Tadic got behind the ball but could not reward this great opportunity. Branderhorst safed in the right hand corner.
Debut Van Gelderen
After the missed penalty kick there were some more chances on both sides but neither team was able to score. Just before halftime Schuurs was taken off with an injury and this meant the debut of Liam van Gelderen in the first team.
During half time Ten Hag decided to take Steven Berghuis off and he was substituted by Brian Brobbey. After ten minutes in the second half NEC got a chance to open the score. Okita dribbled through the Ajax defence but aimed just besides the goal.
Shortly after that moment Ajax too got an enormous chance to score. After a great cross from Tagliafico, Brobbey headed the ball but the 20 year old only hit the woodwork. A few minutes later it seemed Ajax would take the lead. Klaassen headed the ball passed Barnderhorst after a corner kick but the ball was cleaned from the line.
Towards the end of the match it felt like Ajax did not believe in a victory anymore but then Brobbet managed to score his goal. He used his body well and shot the ball hard behind Branderhorst. Resulting in three point in the race for the title.
NEC – Ajax 0-1 (0-0)
88. Brobbey 0-1
Ajax: Stekelenburg; Timber, Schuurs (45+3. Van Gelderen), Blind, Tagliafico; Gravenberch (90+2. Àlvarez), Taylor (85. Kudus), Klaassen; Berghuis (46. Brobbey), Haller, Tadic