Ajax down PSV to win Dutch Cup

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored two goals on Sunday to help Ajax win the Dutch Cup with a 2-1 victory over PSV Eindhoven.

The win boosted Danny Blind’s chances of keeping his job as Ajax coach. On Friday, a club spokesperson told The Associated Press that Blind’s position would be reviewed after Sunday’s match.

Blind led Ajax to a fourth-place finish in the Dutch league, and local media has repeatedly speculated that he is to be replaced by FC Barcelona assistant coach Henk ten Cate.

Ajax have won the Dutch Cup a record 16 times, while PSV have won the trophy on eight occasions.

On the field, both sides squandered plenty of chances in an attack-minded contest.

Ajax took the lead when Huntelaar headed in Wesley Sneijder’s corner in the 46th minute. Four minutes later, right-back Michael Lamey equalised for PSV with a long-range effort.

Both teams were down to 10 men in the second half after Lamey and Tomas Galasek were dismissed for getting two yellow cards.

“We were able to control the game in the second half.
My worst fears came when Galasek was sent off, but the match got some balance with Lamey’s dismissal,” Blind told Dutch television.

Ajax were stronger in the second half with substitute Ryan Babel’s darting runs down the left flank proving a handful for the PSV defence.

Huntelaar dispossessed Andre Ooijer in the 89th minute to drill home from close range.

Sunday’s match was Guus Hiddink’s last as PSV coach. Hiddink, who also coaches Australia, signed a two-year contract with Russia’s national soccer team in April.

Despite a poor season, Ajax have secured a spot in next season’s Champions League qualifying round after winning the newly introduced playoffs. ‒ Sapa-AP

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