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Football

Ajax's proud home run comes to end



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AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (Reuters) -- Ajax's run of 23 consecutive home wins in the Dutch first division ended when the leaders were held 1-1 by Roosendaal at the Amsterdam Arena on Sunday.

Ajax fell a goal behind after only three minutes when Eric Hellemons headed home at the far post.

But skipper Rafael van der Vaart equalised in the 30th minute when he nodded the ball past Roosendaal goalkeeper Maikel Aerts.

Despite the dropped points Ajax stay firmly on course to win their 29th league title.

They have 70 points with four matches left, eight points clear of champions PSV Eindhoven who beat NEC Nijmegen 3-0 on Saturday.

Feyenoord are third, a further three points back, after a 3-0 win at Utrecht on Sunday.

Only the top two qualify for the Champions League, with the second-placed team entering the qualifying round.

Fourth-placed Heerenveen are five points behind Feyenoord after losing 1-0 at Zwolle on Saturday.

Feyenoord's success was their fourth away win in a row. Polish international Ebi Smolarek opened the scoring seven minutes into the second half when he converted a pass from Anthony Lurling.

Eleven minutes later Dirk Kuijt doubled the lead with his 14th league goal of the season and Smolarek's second completed the win.

Bottom club Volendam fought back from 2-0 down against NAC Breda to win 4-2 and move level on 23 points with Vitesse


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