No escape for Ajax as newspapers highlight meltdown

Monday 9 May 2016

A Fan of Ajax Amsterdam is disappointed after losing the soccer championship of the Netherlands in Amsterdam on May 8, 2016 (AFP)

Ajax Amsterdam woke on Monday to headlines trumpeting their final day implosion in the Dutch league title race as Frank de Boer's tenure as coach also appear to be nearing an end.

Ajax needed to win at second-from-bottom De Graafschap to secure a fifth title in six years but were held to a surprise 1-1 draw that allowed PSV to leapfrog the leaders and retain their title after they won at PEC Zwolle on Sunday.

The stunning slip up by Ajax was barely plausible.

"Bizarre denouement", the De Telegraaf said of the finish to an unpredictable season, while the Algemeen Dagblad headed their Monday edition with "Eindhoven explodes, Amsterdam in tears".

"It was our own fault, we had it in our hands. We had a chance to go 2-0 up and ended up in a nightmare," De Boer said after Ajax had taken an early lead only to give away an equaliser just after half-time.

"Naturally we blew it on our own although we knew De Graafschap could be niggly opponents. These are the kind of matches we should be winning," De Boer told his club's TV station after Ajax finished on 82 points, two behind PSV.

"It is difficult to comprehend we don't have the trophy in our hands."

De Boer is scheduled to meet club management this week and is expected to end his five-and-a-half year tenure in charge of the side, even though he still has another year remaining on his contract.

The 45-year-old former international had won a record four successive titles with Ajax before PSV ended that run in emphatic style last season.

PSV coach Philip Cocu, a former team mate of De Boer's at Barcelona, said he always believed his side would retain their title.

"You know that on a final day of the season, anything can happen. You see now how narrow the margins between winning and losing in sport are," he told reporters.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.) 

Short link: