Despite being reduced to ten men, Ajax came from behind to defeat Groningen 2-1 thanks to a goal and assist by Justin Kluivert.

PSV Eindhoven’s win over NAC on Saturday put the pressure on Ajax to get a result in the Euroborg to keep their slim title hopes alive. However, Groningen also needed a win to ease relegation fears and from the start the home side took the game to Ajax.

After a few near misses, Groningen eventually took the lead on 14 minutes with Mimoun Mahi bursting past Joel Veltman before setting up Tom van Weert to fire in. Ten minutes later, the home side were awarded a penalty for a handball by Veltman, but Andre Onana ensured the score stayed 1-0, keeping out Mahi’s poor spot kick.

Onana came to Ajax’s rescue again before the break, keeping out Juninho Bacuna’s strike before getting down low to stop Mahi’s close range header. Early in the second half, Bacuna thought he had finally made it 2-0 but his goal was wrongly called offside.

Ajax barely looked like finding an equaliser but with 25 minutes left, Justin Kluivert, who made his Netherlands debut during the week, headed in Hakim Ziyech’s cross to make it 1-1 against the run of play.

With ten minutes left, Nicolas Tagliafico should have put Ajax ahead but his free header at the back post sailed over the bar. Minutes later, Ajax were reduced to ten men with Veltman shown his second yellow card for a sloppy challenge.

Groningen missed a great chance to go ahead through Mahi and were immediately punished by Ajax who broke down the other end. Kluivert ran onto a David Neres pass before picking out Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to score the winning goal.

An undeserved victory for Ajax but they remain seven points behind PSV at the top while Groningen are 14th.




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