Two days after the death of club legend Piet Keizer, Ajax beat Sparta Rotterdam 2-0 on Sunday to stay in contention for the Dutch league title.
Keizer died of lung cancer on Friday at the age of 73. Together with, among others, Johan Cruyff, who died last year at the age of 68, the left winger conquered the world of football with Ajax in the beginning of the seventies, winning three European Champions Cups and one FIFA Club World Cup.
After a minute of silence for Keizer and a huge round of applause in the 11th minute, in honor of his number as a player, Ajax had no difficulties with Sparta in Amsterdam.
Bertrand Traore, back from the African Cup of Nations where he finished third with Burkina Faso, gave the home team the lead on the stroke of half-time. After a short corner, he turned once, turned twice, and surprised Sparta goalkeeper Roy Kortsmit with a shot in the short corner. Kasper Dolberg secured the victory four minutes into the second half.
Also on Sunday, PSV beat FC Utrecht 3-0. The reigning champions escaped in the first half, when a goal by Nacer Barazite was incorrectly disallowed for offside. In the second half, Luuk de Jong broke the deadlock with a header, and substitute Steven Bergwijn produced the second goal within two minutes on a cross by De Jong.
In injury-time, Marco van Ginkel added a goal as well to make it 3-0. In other action from Sunday: Excelsior and FC Twente drew 1-1 in Rotterdam, and sc Heerenveen lost 2-1 at home to AZ.
Meanwhile, Feyenoord dominated FC Groningen (2-0) from the start on Saturday and Jens Toornstra opened the scoring from a Steven Berghuis cross in the 38th minute. Toornstra struck again in the 66th minute by finishing a delightful back-heel pass by Jan-Arie van der Heijden. Thanks to Toornstra’s two goals, Feyenoord bagged their 8th consecutive league win.
The only person not completely satisfed in Rotterdam was captain Dirk Kuyt. The 36-year-old captain was left on the bench by head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst and only came into the team in the second half.
With new coach Fons Groenendijk, who replaced fired Zeljko Petrovic, ADO Den Haag lost 3-1 at Go Ahead Eagles on Saturday and dropped into the bottom position. In other results: Vitesse lost 2-0 at home to Willem II and Heracles Almelo drew 2-2 against Roda JC Kerkrade. On Friday, PEC Zwolle beat NEC 2-0.
With 57 points from 22 matches, Feyenoord continue to lead the Eredivisie, followed by Ajax (52) and PSV (49). Enditem