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Ajax beat AZ, PSV clinch winter title
Last Updated: 2017-12-18 10:02 | Xinhua
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Ajax defeated AZ 2-1 in Alkmaar on Sunday, winning the battle for the second place in the Dutch Eredivisie behind league leaders PSV halfway through the season.

After a hand ball by Deyovaisio Zeefuik, AZ was awarded a penalty, which was converted by Alireza Jahanbakhsh. A few minutes from half-time Klaas-Jan Huntelaar equalized after a pass by David Neres.

A penalty decided the match in the second half. Pantelis Hatzidiakos brought down Huntelaar and Lasse Schone handed Ajax the 2-1 victory in Alkmaar.

Feyenoord booked an emphatic 7-0 win in the Rotterdam derby at Sparta, who suffered their biggest home defeat ever in Dutch professional soccer. Tonny Vilhena (twice), Dylan Vente, Steven Berghuis, Bilal Basacikoglu, Renato Tapia and Jerry St. Juste scored. A few hours later Sparta fired coach Alex Pastoor.

After two winless matches league leaders PSV needed a win against ADO Den Haag on Saturday. Luuk de Jong tipped in the opening goal in the 5th minute and with help from ADO defender Nick Kuipers he added a second two minutes later. Marco van Ginkel produced the third goal from the penalty spot: 3-0.

Also on Saturday sc Heerenveen beat NAC Breda 1-0 at home, PEC Zwolle came back from a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 at Willem II, FC Twente and Vitesse drew 1-1 and VVV-Venlo won the province of Limburg derby at Roda JC Kerkrade 1-0. On Sunday FC Utrecht drew 1-1 at home against Heracles Almelo.

PSV now lead the Eredivisie table halfway with 43 points from 17 matches and with one match round remaining in 2017 PSV are already certain of entering the new year as unofficial winter champions, as leaders. Ajax follow on five points, ahead of AZ, PEC Zwolle and Feyenoord.

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