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Ajax manager Frank de Boer, center, holds the trophy surrounded by his team after defeating Heracles Almelo in the Dutch Premier League final with a 1-0 score in Almelo
Ajax Amsterdam clinch 4th successive Dutch title Heracles secure top-flight status

AMSTERDAM, April 27, (RTRS): Ajax Amsterdam captured their fourth successive Dutch League title, and 33rd overall, with a 1-1 draw at Heracles Almelo on Sunday. Lasse Schone’s early goal set up Ajax for an afternoon of celebration but Simon Cziommer’s equaliser in the 22nd minute ensured a nervy finish as Ajax opened up an unassailable lead at the top of the table to seal the title with one match remaining. The draw moved Ajax to 70 points, out of the reach of the chasing pack, and helped them put last week’s shock 5-1 loss to PEC Zwolle in the Dutch Cup final behind them. “It was a tense game but we deserved to come away with the point we needed,” coach Frank de Boer told Dutch Radio One. “If we see that after the winter break we beat Feyenoord, Twente and PSV and drew with Vitesse, then we are worthy champions. Over the whole season we’ve been the best.”

Schone struck home a free kick via the underside of the crossbar from some 30 metres out to put Ajax into a 12th minute lead. But Cziommer equalised in similar circumstances and Heracles might have spoilt the party had it not been for a key save from Ajax goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen 10 minutes into the second half. With Heracles needing a point to ensure their top flight status for next season, the match petered out to a tepid finish, followed by the presentation of the trophy to Ajax. “Maybe it wasn’t the nicest game because both clubs could have won,” de Boer added.

“But level after a quarter-hour, it made sense to me to just play it around the back. We just needed a point so we didn’t need to take any risks.” Feyenoord secured the other Champions League berth for next season as they confirmed second place with a 5-1 win over SC Cambuur, followed by an emotional farewell to coach Ronald Koeman who leaves the club at the end of the season. It was the Rotterdam club’s seventh straight victory, having started the season with three defeats. “The way we came back after that initial disappointment was a big compliment to all at the club” said Koeman. Twente Enschede sealed third place and a Europa League slot after recovering from conceding a first minute goal to beat NEC Nijmegen 5-2 away. 




 

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