Ajax's lead grows despite draw at AZ

Everybody was satisfied with the 1-1 draw between AZ and Ajax in Alkmaar. Players, coaches and fans spoke of a fair result. Ajax's top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic was of course a little disappointed that his wonderful goal did not lead to his team winning the match. But at least he played ninety minutes for the first time in three months. Because PSV lost again, Ajax even took more distance from the number two in the table.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic had an earlier chance to score in his 100th official match for Ajax, but former Ajax goalkeeper Henk Timmer saved the striker's header. The way Ibrahimovic, who kept Yannis Anastasiou on the bench, scored the first goal, after 64 minutes, was world class. Captain Rafael van der Vaart took a free kick from the right, Reine pulled down Ibrahimovic but the Swede scored anyway, with his back to the goal. ,,I have such athletic legs because of the Ajax training'', the forward said with a smile.

Ibrahimovic was not the match winner with his stunning goal. Olaf Lindenbergh's effort was also a beauty. Two minutes before the end he suddenly fired the ball from distance past Bogdan Lobont and AZ got the point they deserved.

Ajax should have pushed on after their goal, coach Ronald Koeman thought. ,,There were possibilities. We should have made it 0-2.'' AZ coach Co Adriaanse, Koeman's predecessor at Ajax, feard that his team would again lose to the side from Amsterdam. ,,We tried to disturb Ajax by putting an extra man up front and we were hoping that we would be lucky.'' AZ were, when Lindenbergh scored right before the end. Ajax were of course disappointed, because the team cannot wait to lift the championship shield. But 1-1 was a fair result and because PSV lost to Willem II, Ajax now have a twelve-point lead over their rivals.