PSV on top, Twente and Ajax go down in Dutch league
PSV was the big winner of the fourteenth match round in the Dutch Eredivisie, Xinhua reported.
The Eindhoven side beat Excelsior 4-2 on Saturday, while FC Twente suffered their first defeat of the season against NAC Breda (2-1). Ajax lost for the second time in a row, 2-0 against AZ Alkmaar.
Twente was the only undefeated team in the Dutch league after thirteen matches and seemed to add another victory against NAC Breda. Bryan Ruiz gave the visitors the lead, but in the final ten minutes the home team was able to change the score into its favor. Substitute Ali Boussaboun made the equalizer and Matthew Amoah was the matchwinner in Breda after Twente defender Thilo Leugers made a terrible mistake.
"We lost because we did not have the right attitude in the second half", Twente coach Michel Preud'homme told afterwards.
"We gave the initiative away. In the first half all went as we hoped for, exactly as we wanted. We could have already decided the match, but we didn't and we had do that in the second half. It's no excuse, but we played a lot of matches lately. Nevertheless we should keep playing football like we always do."
Meanwhile in Eindhoven Daan Bovenberg gave Excelsior a surprising early lead. The defender now already scored four times this season, of which three goals against the traditional Dutch top clubs Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV.
Jeremain Lens got the equalizer and Wilfred Bouma and Ola Toivonen headed PSV to a comfortable 3-1 lead. Excelsior striker Guyon Fernandez was able to reduce the margin to one after a fine solo effort, but a Marcelo strike finally secured the PSV victory.
The crisis at Ajax continued on Sunday. After losing to ADO Den Haag last week and after receiving heavy criticism from Dutch legend Johan Cruiff Ajax had to deal with high pressure.
Coach Martin Jol's team prevented AZ from scoring until the 74th minute without creating any chance itself. Then Pontus Wernbloom gave AZ the lead and Kolbeinn Sigthórsson crushed Ajax's final hope of getting a result. To make things even worse defender Andre Ooijer received a red card for kicking an opponent.
"Everyone feels bad", Ajax coach Martin Jol declared. "If you have title aspirations like we do, we need to win here. We have to stay mentally strong. We often came back from behind in the past. The players are willing to work hard, but if you're not one hundred percent mentally. Of course the pressure will get higher, but at Ajax you always have to cope with pressure to become champions."
PSV took over the lead from FC Twente and are two points ahead of the Enschede side now. Ajax are now already six points behind the new leaders. Next week Ajax can reduce the deficit by beating PSV in Amsterdam.