Ajax defeats AZ Alkmaar 1-0

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Ajax Amsterdam defeats AZ Alkmaar 1-0

updated: February 25, 2007 08:37 IST
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An injury-time goal by Rafael van der Vaart gave Ajax Amsterdam a 1-0 victory over AZ Alkmaar on Sunday, moving them into second place behind leaders Feyenoord in the Dutch first division. In another match, Utrecht produced only their second victory of the season on Sunday, crushing Roda JC Kerkrade 4-1 at home. All five goals were scored in the first half as Utrecht's Igor Gluscevic and Stefaan Tanghe both struck twice. Ajax had their best chance in the second half after Nikos Mahlas was brought down just outside the area. But Van Der Vaart's shot was punched away by the AZ Alkmaar keeper, but it was not good enough as Wamberto almost scored in the following phase. Alkmaar's best chance came when Robin Nelisse made a good run down the right flank, but his shot went over the bar. Ajax had a few other chances but were unable to convert and the match looked like it would end in a 0-0 draw. But three minutes into injury time and 18-year-old Van Der Vaart gave Ajax the win sending the ball into the back of the net. Ajax are now trail early leaders Feyenoord by only two points. The fans had the American flag flying, in a show of sympathy for the victims of the American terrorist attacks. Utrecht's Igor Gluscevic opened the scoring in the 23rd minute with a header much to the annoyance of the Roda JC keeper. Roda however leveled the match after just 14 minutes, Igor Tomasic lucky to get a deflection before seeing the ball lob into the back of the net. Utrecht then went on a rampage, a minute later and the hosts were up 2-1, Stefaan Tanghe, just managing to get a touch to a cross. Gluscevic struck again, in the 40th minute with yet another header as Utrecht were up 3-1. The Roda keeper wishing he could kick the ball and make it disappear. But his misery would continue. Just before half time and Tanghe scored his second goal, as Utrecht went on to complete a 4-1 demolition of the visitors. With the win Utrecht have just 6 points from 5 games. Feyenoord tops the standings with 12 points, with Ajax two points behind them. But Ajax have a match in hand.