International Soccer

Ajax topples AZ to continue winning start

Alkmaar, Netherlands ( - Ajax claimed a second win in as many matches to start its Eredivisie campaign on Sunday, notching a 3-1 win at AZ Alkmaar.

Davy Klaassen scored the lone goal in the opening half for Ajax, while AZ equalized shortly after the break courtesy of Steven Berghuis. But Ajax closed the match with two goals in the final 20 minutes as Lasse Schone netted his third of the campaign before Anwar El-Ghazi sealed the win with a late insurance tally.

Schone played provider after 15 minutes on the opening goal for Ajax when he sent Klaassen down the right wing, allowing the midfielder to drive the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

The home side was level in the 50th minute when Berghuis took advantage of some poor defending from Ajax to smack the ball beyond the reach of goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.

Schone restored the lead for Ajax with 20 minutes to play when he cut inside from the right wing before lashing a shot past goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado, while Kolbeinn Sigthorsson hit the crossbar from a corner kick for the visitors.

But El-Ghazi put the result away in the closing minutes as he came off the bench to hammer a shot into the top corner.

Excelsior squandered a two-goal lead in the second half against Go Ahead Eagles but was saved by a stoppage-time winner from Sander Fischer, who converted a penalty kick four minutes into added time to lift his team to a 3-2 win.

Utrecht also relied on a late goal to claim three points as Leon de Kogel scored in the 88th minute in a 2-1 win over Willem II, while Groningen secured a 3-1 home win against Heracles through goals from Tjaronn Chery, Michael de Leeuw and Yoell van Nieff.

08/17 12:44:39 ET

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