Ajax were held to a shock 1-1 draw at second-bottom De Graafschap on a dramatic final day of the Eredivisie season, handing rivals PSV a second consecutive league title.
The two teams came into the game with identical records of 25 wins and 81 points from 33 games, but Ajax held a superior goal difference by six and knew a victory would almost certainly secure the crown.
It looked like Frank de Boer’s side were on track to get the win they required to seal the title on Sunday thanks to Amin Younes’ early goal, but Bryan Smeets’ equaliser after 55 minutes cost them glory as PSV kept up their side of the bargain with a 3-1 victory away to PEC Zwolle.
PSV’s win – thanks to two strikes from Luuk de Jong and Jurgen Locadia’s opener – ensured they finished the season with six straight wins as Ajax paid the price for two draws in their last four games after their 2-0 win in Eindhoven in March had previously looked like proving decisive.
The PSV match finished over two minutes before that of Ajax, with players and coaches waiting nervously as they listened to phones and radios during a lengthy stoppage-time period at De Graafschap – just as their supporters had done for much of the second half.
Confirmation that De Graafschap had held on was then greeted with jubilant scenes as the PSV players ran over to the travelling support, while demoralised Ajax players were sprawled on the ground as a frustrated Frank de Boer marched down the tunnel.
PSV were also crowned champions last season – ending a run of four successes for Ajax – and now have 23 titles to their name compared to Ajax’s 33.