Soccer-Neres nets late winner as Ajax beat Vitesse in Dutch Cup final

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FILE PHOTO: Europa League - Round of 16 Second Leg - BSC Young Boys v Ajax Amsterdam

(Reuters) - Substitute David Neres scored two minutes into injury time to hand Ajax a thrilling 2-1 victory over Vitesse Arnhem as they claimed a record-extending 20th Dutch Cup title on Sunday.

Neres steered the ball into the back of the net from Sebastien Haller’s headed assist to help Ajax retain the title they won in 2019. The competition was not completed last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ryan Gravenberch put Ajax ahead in the first half but Vitesse, whose only cup final win came in 2017, equalised seven minutes later as Lois Openda scored from close-range.

Vitesse lost centre-back Jacob Rasmussen to a straight red card four minutes from the end and his absence was felt as Ajax piled on the pressure in the closing stages and were rewarded with Neres’ winner.

The win kept Ajax on track to complete a league and cup double as they lead second-placed PSV Eindhoven by 11 points on top of the Dutch Eredivisie.

(Reporting by Nick Said in Cape Town, editing by Pritha Sarkar)