Ajax give Feyenoord a huge boost in the title race with draw against Go Ahead Eagles
Ajax did not get further than a draw away to Go Ahead Eagles on Sunday. The Amsterdammers could not score, with the match ending 0-0. Feyenoord can create an eight-point gap if they beat Sparta Rotterdam on Sunday afternoon.
Manager John Heitinga gave youngster Youri Baas a surprising start at left back, choosing him ahead of Owen Wijndal and Calvin Bassey. Ajax has a poor record against Go Ahead Eagles, with the club from Deventer getting two draws and a win in their last three games against the reigning champions.
The first significant chance of the game went to the home side. A quick counterattack sent Isac Lidberg away, who crossed for Finn Stokkers, Ajax goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli thwarted his attempt.
Ajax found a lot of joy with long passes from Kenneth Taylor into the feet of Brian Brobbey in the early stages, and that was the source of their best chance of the first half when the young striker spun away from Jamal Amofa before hitting his shot into the midriff of Jeffrey de Lange in the Eagles goal.
Mohamed Kudus had a goal disallowed for offside in the first half when he headed home from a Steven Berghuis cross. ESPN reported at halftime that due to a lack of technology, the VAR could not use the lines reserved for offside decisions, and therefore the referee’s initial decision stood.
Ajax created very little throughout the match, with many of Heitinga’s more experienced players having an off day. Jurrien Timber had the most significant chance of the game in the 82nd minute when he was left unmarked from a Dusan Tadic corner, but he could not get the connection he wanted.
It is not the reaction that the fans will have hoped for after the disappointing loss at home to Feyenoord before the break. Ajax is now five points behind the Rotterdammers and level on points with PSV. Ajax stays second, however, due to a superior goal difference. Go Ahead Eagles are now six points clear of the relegation zone after the draw.