Ajax loses to Excelsior in Portugal

Ajax loses to Excelsior in Portugal

Ajax has lost its first friendly match of 2017.  Peter Bosz’s team lost on Saturday afternoon to Excelsior, 1-3.  In the FC Ferreiras (Portuguese third division) stadium, Mitchell Dijks was the only Ajacied who scored.  Justin Kluivert made his unofficial debut.

On the sixth day of training camp in the Algarve, it was time for the first of two matches in the new year.  Ajax-Excelsior was the first (earlier this season, the competition game between these two teams ended in 1-0 for Ajax).  This edition took place in the sunny ‘Estadio Do Complexo Desportivo Da Nora’.

Unofficial debut Kluivert
17 year-old Justin Kluivert was in the starting line-up.  After five duels and two goals in the Jupiler League, Peter Bosz started him in the first of two friendly matches in Portugal.  This was Kluivert Jr’s unofficial debut in Ajax 1.  Patrick Kluivert’s son formed, with Pelle Clement and striker Mateo Cassierra, the offensive trio against Excelsior.  Midfield consisted of young guns Frenkie de Jong, Donny van de Beek and Abdelhak Nouri. At the back, keeper Diederik Boer, captain Kenny Tete, Matthijs de Ligt, Jairo Riedewald and Mitchell Dijks rounded off the team at kick-off.

There were only a handful of opportunities in the first half.  Excelsior, who was also on a training camp in the south of Portugal, took an early lead thanks to a goal by Nigel Hasselbaink in the eleventh minute.  After that, it was quiet in front of both goals.  The best Ajax opportunity came in the 39th minute.  Cassierra had a good opportunity to score the tying goal, but the Colombian shot the ball wide from nearby.

Krul
replaced Boer.  He saw action earlier this season during a friendly match and has otherwise had playing time with the Ajax Reserves.  Heiko Westermann and Carel Eiting also received playing time.

Tying goal
Twenty minutes before time, Dijks brough Ajax even.  The defender sent a header from Nouri’s free kick into the goal: 1-1.  Three minutes later, Nouri almost made an assist.  The midfielder made a good pass, but Cassierra shot the ball onto the post.

Fifteen minutes before time, the most beautiful goal of the afternoon was scored.  Anouar Hadouir shot the ball past Tim Krul from far out: 1-2.  The Rotterdam club thus took the lead for the second time.

Ajax - RB Leipzig
One hour after the end of Ajax – Excelsior, a second friendly match is on the agenda.  Ajax’s customary squad will play against RB Liepzig at 16:30 Dutch time.  The match can be followed live via Ziggo Sport.

Score summary: 11. Hasselbaink 0-1, 70. Dijks 1-1, 78. Hadouir 1-2, 82. Mattheij 1-3.

Line-upAjax: Boer (46. Krul), Tete, De Ligt (46. Westermann), Riedewald (63. De Jong), Dijks, De Jong (46. Eiting), Van de Beek, Nouri, Kluivert, Cassierra, Clement.