Ajax beat Twente 2-1 to close in on 31st title

By Theo Ruizenaar

ROTTERDAM, April 29 (Reuters) - Ajax Amsterdam closed to within one point of regaining their Dutch soccer league title when they earned their 12th straight win by beating Steve McClaren's Twente Enschede 2-1 on Sunday.

Ajax are top with 70 points after 32 matches, six points clear of Feyenoord who beat AZ Alkmaar 1-0 to move into second place. Ajax host VVV Venlo on Wednesday when a draw would be enough for their 31st title.

Former Twente player Theo Janssen converted a penalty after 30 minutes to put Ajax ahead after keeper Nikolay Mihaylov had fouled Gregory van der Wiel.

Leroy Fer brought Twente level 18 minutes before time, netting a rebound, but six minutes later a fierce drive from Van der Wiel put Ajax on the brink of the title.

Feyenoord and Alkmaar started as joint second in the berth for the Champions League qualification round and the match was decided by Otman Bakkal nine minutes into the second half when he created his own space in the area before scoring.

Alkmaar slipped to fourth with 61 points as PSV Eindhoven beat 10-man Roda JC Kerkrade 3-1 to move into third with 63 points.

Dries Mertens opened the scoring for PSV after seven minutes, coming in from the left flank, and Brazilian Marcelo doubled the lead with a header before Sanharib Malki pulled one back with his 22nd goal of the season.

Eight minutes before time, Roda keeper Pawel Kieszek was sent off but the resulting penalty was missed by Jeremain Lens, who set up Memphis Depay a minute later to settle the match.

(Editing by Clare Fallon; clare.fallon@thomsonreuters.com; +44 20 7542 7933; Reuters Messaging: clare.fallon.reuters.com@reuters.net)