Ajax are five points behind leaders PSV Eindhoven after being held to a shock 2-2 draw by struggling Excelsior.
With champions PSV winning on Saturday, Ajax were looking to match that result at the Amsterdam ArenA on Sunday afternoon.
January signing Edgar Davids (19 - pictured) scored his first goal on his return to Ajax, but their Rotterdam-based opponents quickly turned the game around with two goals of their own.
Andwele Slory (25) pulled Excelsior level before Eldridge Rojer (30) gave the visitors the lead.
However, Ajax earned a point when Klaas Jan Huntelaar struck seven minutes before half-time, as both clubs failed find the back of the net after the break.
Third-placed AZ Alkmaar missed the chance to leapfrog Ajax in the table after a 1-1 draw at Groningen.
Danny Koevermans (25) gave AZ the lead at the Euroborg Stadion, but Erik Nevland (56) made sure Groningen took a point off of Louis van Gaal's side.
Twente moved to within a point of AZ after a 2-1 victory at Heerenveen.
Blaise N'Kufo (14) and Kennedy Bakircioglu (33) scored the goals for the Enschede club, while Petter Hansson (67) struck a consolation for the home side.
Finally, goals by Canadian youngster Jonathan de Guzman (7) and Greek striker Angelos Charisteas (19) gave Feyenoord a 2-0 win over ten-man Utrecht.
Utrecht's Erik Pieters was sent off with a quarter of an hour remaining for a deliberate handball.