Late drama keeps Ajax top
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
It was first versus second at the Amsterdam ArenA, and Alkmaar looked like they were going to topple their illustrious rivals in the early stages.
Kenneth Perez gave the visitors a shock lead after just five minutes but Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovich restored parity after 21 minutes.
The gutsy visitors were not fazed by the leveller and promptly regain their lead just two minutes later when Perez grabbed his second.
AZ had looked on course for a superb win until 14 minutes from time when Nigel de Jong looked to have salvaged a point for the league leaders.
The result would have meant PSV Eindhoven taking over the top spot on goal difference but referee Rene Temmink had other ideas and awarded the hosts a late penalty and sent off Tim de Cler for committing his second bookable offence in the process.
Tomas Galasek (pictured) held his nerve and slotted home the spot kick to give Ronald Koeman's side a memorable win but Alkmaar have signalled their title intent by pushing Ajax all the way in their own back yard.
Theo Lucius gave PSV a great start at NAC Breda when he gave them the lead after just four minutes of play.
South Korean star Park Ji-sung then got in on the action and score a brace on 31 and 41 minutes to put the visitors well on course for victory.
Orlando Engelaar grabbed a last minute penalty to reduce the deficit for NAC but it was too little and too late as PSV kept pace with Ajax, and moved into second spot ahead of the unlucky AZ Alkmaar.
RBC Roosendaal earned a slender 1-0 victory over NEC Nijmegen at De Luiten courtesy of a Danny Hesp penalty after 55 minutes.
Vitesse Arnhem are still in trouble near the bottom but produced a creditable comeback to earn a home point against FC Volendam, who went two up thanks to Reginald Faria and Jack Tuyp within half an hour.
Gert Claessens pulled one back for the hosts and Emile Mbamba completed the comeback after 69 minutes to earn Vitesse a 2-2 draw.