Ajax has won its all-important away game against AZ by 1-2. Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Lasse Schöne (penalty) scored the goals for the Amsterdam team. Thanks to the win, Ajax moves into second place in the rankings, 5 points behind leader PSV.
Ajax and AZ made an explosive derby of it in Alkmaar. The stakes: second place in the rankings. The game swayed back and forth from the very first whistle, with opportunities for both teams. Ajax was poised to score after fifteen minutes, but attempts by Donny van de Beek and Klaas Jan Huntelaar were disarmed by defender Pantelis Hatzidiakos, the Greek magician who rescued the ball from the line on both occasions. Deyovaisio Zeefuik’s hands in the 25th minute gave AZ a penalty, one that Alireza Jahanbakhsh took full advantage of: 1-0.
Just before the break, Ajax tied the game. Klaas Jan Huntelaar, who was chosen above Kasper Dolberg as the starting centre forward, was beautifully brought into position by Neres, and sent the ball past keeper Marco Bizot. The Hunter was also at the root of the 1-2 goal early in the second half. He was held, the ball went onto the spot, and Lasse Schöne scored from twelve yards out. It was the Dane’s 8th goal of the season, which makes him the club’s top scorer.
Ajax holds its own
Naturally, AZ went on the offense in an attempt to tie the game, but the Amsterdam defense – plagued by injuries and Joël Veltman’s suspension – held its own. Ajax even had the chance to increase its lead. Huntelaar pivoted away from his opponent in the 75th minute, but stumbled on Bizot. Justin Kluivert was also unable to get the ball past the AZ keeper a few minutes later.
The final minutes were hectic, and included a red card for Jonas Svensson, a huge opportunity for Fred Friday, and a header by keeper Bizot, who had come up. But the result on the scoreboard remained unchanged: 1-2 for Ajax!