PEC Zwolle have won the Johan Cruijff Schaal after a 1-0 victory over Ajax in the Amsterdam Arena.

  • By Michael Bell
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nijland abjThe annual curtain raiser for the Dutch football season between the league and cup winners was settled in the second half by Stef Nijland’s close range finish, as PEC Zwolle contained a very disappointing Ajax side.

The Eredivisie champions started the game brightly with debutante Nick Viergever striking the post, but that was the only real chance of note for Ajax as the rest of the first half was played at a walking pace.

Ten minutes into the second half PEC Zwolle shocked the Amsterdam Arena when Mokotjo played the ball into Stef Nijland’s feet, and the striker made no mistake from close range, making it 1-0. The goal failed to spark Ajax into life, and Mustafa Saymak nearly added a second with a shot that Kenneth Vermeer had to tip around the post.

Ajax’s best chances of the match fell to them in the final ten minutes with Diederik Boer making an incredible save from close range to deny Niklas Moisander, before the keeper kept out Davy Klaassen. PEC Zwolle held on, and should have made it 2-0 in stoppage time, but Jasper Drost couldn’t find the net despite rounding Vermeer.

PEC Zwolle lift the trophy for the first time in their history, and its another huge achievement by coach Ron Jans, who’s side will gain huge confidence ahead of their league campaign, and Europa League journey.

Ajax were extremely poor, but they were missing star man Daley Blind, who will make his return when the league season kicks off next week.

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