‘Title race is over’

‘Title race is over’

Ajax seems to have waisted the last chance of the title. At FC Twente, the team was not sharp enough and lost: 2-1. ,,We can start focussing on the playoffs’’, coach Adrie Koster said after the match.

The gap with PSV grew to seven points in the weekend. After defeating FC Groningen, PSV are the winners of the matchday. Four days after the undecided clash PSV - Ajax (0-0), the side from Eindhoven appears to have struck the final blow.

,,This was the crucial match to keep the pressure on PSV'', Koster said. ,,We knew what we had to do. We also had a good feeling about it, that we would keep the title race close. But in the first half it didn't happen, we were apathetic at times. A number of players was not really in the match. I cannot explain it.''

Especially in the first half, the home side was the better team. Twente kept the Ajax forwards under control. Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Luis Suarez were virtually invisible in the first half.

Fittingly, it was a Twente player who gave Ajax the lead in the second half. Franco Teixeira Douglas, until then very successful in marking Huntelaar, headed a long cross by John Heitinga into his own goal. The unlucky moment however, had no impact on Twente's faith in a good result.

With Leonardo on for Edgar Davids, Ajax gained in inspiration and attacking power. FC Twente, however, scored the equaliser; at a moment Leonardo was down with an injury. Twente played on and scored through Luke Wilkshire: 1-1.

In added time Ajax suffered the final blow. Eljero Elia lobbed the ball over goalkeeper Dennis Gentenaar. Koster was angry afterwards about a moment, minutes earlier, when goalkeeper Sander Boschker brought down Luis Suarez in the box. Referee Jack van Hulten saw no reason for a penalty.

,,It was a clear penalty, at a crucial moment’’, Koster fumed, without losing the proper perspective. ,,Obviously, we did not play well and did not show enough of our class. But the referee should have given us a penalty.’’

The coach ended the afternoon with a sad summary. ,,The title race is over after today. We did not succeed in our mission. That's disappointing. For me personally too, of course.’’