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Daley Blind brings Ajax to nail-biting last-minute win against PEC

Daley Blind brings Ajax to nail-biting last-minute win against PEC

Ajax has narrowly avoided a costly loss in the race for the title.  They defeated PEC Zwolle by 2-1 on Wednesday evening thanks to a late goal by Daley Blind.  Noa Lang, making his Eredivisie debut, played in important part in the winning goal.  The forward came in in the 83rd minute and, 2 minutes later, made a taylor-made assist to Blind.  The defender went on to send an outstanding header into the goal.

Thanks to this win, Ajax managed to decrease its gap against leader PSV to 2 points.  The Eindhoven team will visit the Johan Cruijff ArenA at the end of this month.  Before then, though, Ajax will play at AZ on Sunday.  An interland break will follow.

Coach Erik ten Hag had changed his starting line-up in 2 places after the 4-0 win against Fortuna Sittard.  Frenkie de Jong started on the bench, replaced by Lasse Schöne.  Due to an injury, Hakim Ziyech wasn’t in the match selection, and his countryman Zakaria Labyad was in the squad.

Difficult first half 
Ajax was threatening at the start of the match, but it wasn’t until the 10th minute that the home team created its first big opportunity.  Tadic pushed through PEC Zwolle’s defense, reaching Kasper Dolberg.  The Dane had the 1-0 at his feet, but Zwolle keeper Mickey van de Hart made the save.

The home team was stagnant after that, and it wasn’t until half an hour into the game that the home crowd had a reason to cheer.  After a good pass by Labyad, it was Tadic who neatly sent the ball into the goal with the inside of this foot: 1-0.

Shortly before the break, Ajax came close to going up 2-0 via Donny van de Beek, but the midfielder didn’t put enough power behind the ball.

Zwolle goes for it
At the start of the second half, Ajax struggled to get going.  It was the Zwolle team who appeared dangerously in front of Andre Onana’s goal.

Ajax created very few opportunities and saw PEC, via Vito van Crooij, even up the game, 1-1.  The Amsterdam team was having a tough time, after which Ten Hag decided to bring in Lang, a move that totally paid off.  The substitute made an immediate impact by making a good pass to Blind.  The central defender brought tremendous relief to the stands by scoring the 2-1 goal.