The KNVB Cup round of 16 concluded on Thursday with Ajax stunned at Cambuur, while Sparta beat 10-man Heracles.

camaja-cupCambuur 2-1 Ajax

Ajax are out of the KNVB Cup after a young side was defeated 2-1 by Cambuur in Leeuwarden.

Peter Bosz put his faith in a youthful side for the clash against the Eerste Divisie side, but that proved to be unwise as Cambuur eased to a 2-0 lead at half time. The opening goal came in the 12th minute with Jerge Hoefraad setting up Martijn Barto, who fired calmly past Diederik Boer. Barto then doubled the lead just before the break, with the striker allowed to race through the centre of the Ajax defence before lifting the ball past Boer.

On the hour mark, Bosz reacted with a triple substitution as Kasper Dolberg, Amin Younes and Lasse Schöne appeared from the bench. The latter made an instant impact as his corner was met by Pelle Clement who headed in from close range. Clement then smashed the crossbar as Ajax went looking for an equaliser, while Leonard Nienhuis denied Nick Viergever from close range.

Despite the pressure, Ajax couldn’t find the equaliser and Cambuur booked their place in the last eight.

Heracles Almelo 0-3 Sparta Rotterdam

Zakaria El Azzouzi hit a hat-trick as Sparta Rotterdam knocked out 10-man Heracles Almelo.

The home sides chances of reaching the last eight were all but ended in the 30th minute after a moment of madness from Lerin Duarte. The midfielder reacted angrily to a tackle by Loris Brogno and was shown a straight red card for slapping the Sparta forward.

With the extra man, Sparta took the lead early in the second half with El Azzouzi finishing off an excellent cross from Thomas Verhaar. Fifteen minutes later the attacker added a second goal on the rebound after Brogno’s effort was saved by Bram Castro. El Azzouzi then sealed the victory and his hat-trick late on with a tap-in.

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