A second half goal by Hakim Ziyech proved decisive as Ajax edged out Excelsior in the Amsterdam Arena.

ziyech-aja-exceOn paper Ajax were expected to have a comfortable evening on Saturday but Peter Bosz’s side were wasteful in front of goal in the first half. Kasper Dolberg, Bertrand Traore and Hakim Ziyech all passed up opportunities to open the scoring as Excelsior kept the scores level at the break.

Only two minutes into the second half, Ziyech broke the deadlock with a fine bouncing strike into the bottom corner from outside the box after Dolberg laid the ball into his path. Lasse Schone hit the post soon after the goal and the Dane then missed from the penalty spot after Traore was brought down by Jurgen Mattheij.

To the delight of the home crowd Abdelhak Nouri was brought off the bench to make his Eredivisie debut and the 19-year-old midfielder almost scored with the final effort of the match but his shot just sailed past the post.

The win means Ajax remain in second, and two points behind Feyenoord who face Heerenveen on Sunday. Roda JC move back to the bottom of the table.

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