Aissati debuts in difficult match

Aissati debuts in difficult match

Ajax defeated FC Volendam by 2-1 at home. Despite the poor team performance, one player had a good afternoon: Ismaïl Aissati. He made his official debut.


Ajax bought him in the summer, but he did not make it past a few friendlies. A nagging knee injury kept him sidelined for months. Against FC Volendam, he finally got his chance: Ismaïl Aissati made his official debut in Ajax 1. He replaced Robbert Schilder with the score 1-1. ,,It is easier to come on when we are 3-0 up'', Aissati said. ,,But I am glad that I finally got to play and that my knee held up.''
With Aissati on the pitch, Ajax squeezed out a win. ,,In the end, that is what counts”, he said. But coach Marco van Basten was less satisfied about the match. He saw his team waiste chance upon chance. ,,This is starting to become a repetitive story”, Van Basten said. ,,If you get so many chances and you don't make them, it becomes difficult against every opponent.”
Ajax began the match without Urby Emanuelson. He was scheduled to be in the starting lineup, but his neck was too stiff for him to be able to play. Robbert Schilder played in his place. Up front, Van Basten picked Leonardo in place of Micky Sulejmani. ,,Leo had earned his place”, Van Basten explained. ,,He had been playing well the past weeks, while Sulejmani could not bring what we hoped for.”
The home side began well and created good chances, but failed to convert them. From nothing, Volendam took the lead after fifteen minutes. Gerson Sheotahul finished a counter attack by the visitors. Ajax kept the initiative and after 29 minutes levelled the score. Luis Suarez headed in a free kick by Rasmus Lindgren.
In the second half Sulejmani played for Kennedy. Volendam withdrew and made it difficult for Ajax to attack. The match seemed locked when Thomas Vermaelen scored from a free kick by Sulejmani: 2-1. The goal brought some life back into the match, but it was never a fun afternoon in the ArenA. Ajax had chances to make it 3-1 (Suarez hit the post from a free kickl), but Volendam came closer to making it 2-2l. ,,When the people we depend on, don't have their day, it becomes tense to the very end”, Van Basten said. ,,And that is disappointing.”