Ajax loses 1-0 to AZ Alkmaar to fall 12 points behind PSV
AMSTERDAM (AP) — Ajax lost for the second time in a week by slumping to a 1-0 home defeat against AZ Alkmaar on Thursday.
The defeat leaves Ajax’s pursuit of a fifth consecutive Eredivisie title in disarray. Frank de Boer’s team is 12 points behind leader PSV Eindhoven and has failed to score in its last three matches.
Ajax was reduced to 10 men in the 62nd minute when Niklas Moisander was sent off for pushing striker Aron Johansson while he was in a goal-scoring position. Johansson was not to be denied, and scored the winner 14 minutes later.
Ajax held on for 0-0 against Feyenoord on Jan. 25, and lost 1-0 to Vitesse Arnhem on Sunday.
PSV fared better with 10 men on Tuesday, when it beat NAC Breda 2-0 despite defender Jetro Willems being sent off in the first minute for a studs-up tackle on Gill Swerts. Replays later showed Willems did not touch Swerts, and the Dutch FA withdrew the red card.
Netherlands striker Memphis Depay became the league’s top scorer when he brought his tally to 13 to give PSV the lead early in the second half. Captain Georginio Wijnaldum completed the scoring with a powerful shot 15 minutes before fulltime to give Phillip Cocu’s team its eighth straight Eredivisie win.
Feyenoord surrendered third place in the league by losing 3-1 at SC Heerenveen on Wednesday. The Rotterdam club slipped to fourth as PEC Zwolle beat last-place Dordrecht 4-0 to go third behind Ajax.