The Ajax U17s took care of business against Benfica U17 (0-1) in the pool phase of the Future Cup. In the 23rd minute, win forward Giovanni De La Vega scored to bring Ajax the win, and second place in the pool.
Ajax U17s knew what they needed to do, as this second game of the group phase could rightfully be called a key match. Gery Vink’s team had cobbled together one point in their first game, while opponent Benfica had convincingly won full points against Juventus (3-1).
On the Amsterdam team, a starting spot was given to Richonell Margaret. The swift wing forward made his presence felt right away with two dangerous attempts, which, unfortunately for him, went wide of Benfica goalie Alexandre Penetre’s goal.
De La Vega
The crowd, which had steadily streamed in, was pushing the young guys, as the longing for Ajax to score its first goal of the tournament was great. Giovanni De La Vega granted this wish in the 23rd minute. The left winger received the ball on the edge of the box and took a hard shot with his right foot, and Ajax’s goal was finally a done deal: 0-1.
Via substitute Rodrigo Conceicao, Benfica hoped to make something happen. The tall centre forward was a point person between his creative team mates. Despite his imposing figure, the Ajax defense wasn’t fazed. The Portuguese counters were neutralised, partly in thanks to Mitchell Bakker and Sven Boltman.
Standings pool phase
The Ajacieds held their own and grabbed three important points in the stride to qualify for the quarter-finals. On the other field, JLeague convincingly defated Juventus (3-0), and Ajax U17 now stand in second place in the pool phase, behind the Japanese team.
Benfica U17 – Ajax U17 0-1 (0-1) 23. De La Vega 0-1
Line-up Ajax U17: Reiziger; Dest, Van Gelderen, Botman, Bakker; J. Maduro, Aberkane, Gravenberch; Margeret, Sint (48. Schon), De La Vega.