Ajax are now six points behind Feyenoord after being held to a 1-1 draw by Excelsior.
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Peter Bosz’s side were dealt a blow before kick-off with Kasper Dolberg ruled out with a groin injury. Bertrand Traore started up front, while Matthijs de Ligt retained his place in defence days after his Netherlands call-up.
The 17-year-old was heavily involved in the action early on as he made an excellent last ditch challenge to prevent Mike van Duinen getting in on goal. However, on 25 minutes, De Ligt’s poor back-pass set van Duinen through on goal and the striker lashed a shot past Andre Onana.
Excelsior’s lead only lasted six minutes before Justin Kluivert slotted in at the back post to equalise and register his first Eredivisie goal. The goal was exactly 10 years and one day since Patrick Kluivert scored his last for the club.
Ajax failed to raise their game after the equaliser and Excelsior created the best chances, with van Duinen blasting over and Onana called into action to deny Hicham Faik. Only in extra time did Ajax get the chance to win the game, but Warner Hahn denied Amin Younes.
The draw means Ajax are now six points behind Feyenoord and that may be the end of their title hopes. Excelsior are 15th.