Two goals in the space of two first-half minutes proved to be crucial as AZ Alkmaar beat PSV Eindhoven 2-1 in Rotterdam to take their fourth Dutch Cup – and their first since 1982.
Adam Maher made the breakthrough with a fine solo effort on 12 minutes, shaking off Wilfred Bouma before finding the net, and Jozy Altidore chipped in on 14 minutes, clipping the ball past Boy Waterman from Viktor Elm's incisive pass.
Jeremain Lens and Bouma had chances to reply before Jurgen Locadia struck back for PSV just after the half-hour mark, heading in after Bouma flicked on Dries Martens' ball. PSV kept on pushing in second half, and Mertens and Locadia had further opportunities, but Lens came closest, hitting the post in the dying minutes. AZ held on, though, to win their fourth Dutch Cup following successes in 1978, 1981 and 1982.
"It is a beautiful day when you win it - and we won it and so it is fantastic," said AZ coach Gertjan Verbeek. "We had a flying start and led 2-0 but it went back to 2-1 too fast, and then it stayed exciting for a very long time - the minutes passed by very slowly I can tell you. We beat [champions] Ajax in the semi-final and then we beat PSV. We deserved to win this competition."
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