Ajax close to league title after beating PSV 3-2AP , Associated Press
Apr. 14, 2013 12:57 PM ET
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Two-time defending champion Ajax moved closer to its 32nd Eredivisie title by beating PSV Eindhoven 3-2 on Sunday in a thrilling match.
Ajax has a five-point lead over second-place Vitesse with four matches left to play in the league. PSV and Feyenoord are one point behind Vitesse.
PSV twice came from behind in Eindhoven to bring the score to 2-2, before substitute Derk Boerrigter fired in the winner for Ajax in the 77th minute.
Icelandic striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson gave Ajax the lead after 33 minutes but Jeremain Lens equalized 10 minutes later. Lens equalized for the second time in the 69th, tapping in a rebound from a free kick by Dries Mertens after Christian Eriksen had again given Ajax the lead.
Boerrigter capitalized on a moment of indecision between PSV defender Erik Pieters and goalkeeper Boy Waterman to fire Ajax back into the lead for the third and final time.
Vitesse could have been closer to Ajax had it not squandered a 3-0 lead at Roda JC Kerkrade on Saturday night.
Vitesse was cruising inside an hour thanks to a double from Mike Havenaar and Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony's 30th goal of the season.
But Sanharib Malki pegged back the lead with a 63rd-minute penalty and Frank Demouge made it 3-2 seven minutes later to set up midfielder Mitchell Donald to head in the equalizer five minutes into injury time.
United States striker Jozy Altidore scored a first-half hat-trick as AZ demolished nine-man Utrecht 6-0 to ease the Alkmaar club's relegation worries Sunday.
Altidore scored two penalties, each one preceded by a red card for a Utrecht player. First, Anour Kali was sent off in the 27th minute for fouling Altidore, and only six minutes later Jan Wuytens collected his second yellow card for a foul on Willie Overtoom.
Altidore completed his hat trick with a 37th-minute header, and Mike van der Hoorn scored an own goal in extra time at the end of the first half. Markus Henriksen and Aron Johannsson completed the scoring.
Feyenoord also missed a chance to get closer to Ajax when Graziano Pelle put Ronald Koeman's team ahead of RKC Waalwijk from the penalty spot, only for Sander Duits to equalize for RKC, which is coached by Koeman's brother, Erwin.