Ajax again powerless in Utrecht

Ajax again powerless in Utrecht

Ajax lost at FC Utrecht 1-0 and it was a deserved win for the home team. Only a solid Ajax defence and goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg prevented Utrecht from scoring more. Again Ajax's lack of scoring power hurt the team. Yannis Anastasiou cancelled goal made the afternoon even more bitter.

Last season, Ajax finally broke with the tradition of losses in Stadium Nieuw Galgenwaard. Almost a year after the 0-2 victory in Utrecht, Ajax started a new losing streak there. Just as in the match against PSV, a decision of the referee was debated hotly afterwards.

Thirty second before the end, Yannis Anastasiou appeared to bring the guests alongside Utrecht. But on the basis of alleged pushing and shoving between Nigel de Jong and Dwight Tiendalli, the goal was disallowed.

,,Just like in the matches against AZ, Heerenveen and PSV, we were the victims of a contoversial decision from the referees'', said coach Danny Blind. ,,We have lost six or seven points due to our own shortcomings.'' And on the basis of arguable calls, about six points, was Blind's calculation.

Yet the coach mainly focussed on his own team's failure. Ajax did not start playing hard until the side was down 1-0, through a goal by Dwight Tiendalli.

,,In the first hour, we played without initiative'', said Blind. ,,Our first half even was apathetic.'' Edgar Manucharyan, playing on the right wing, had to be taken off after only twenty minutes with a torn muscle. He was replaced by Mauro Rosales.

Attempts by Sneijder, Hedwiges Maduro and striker Markus Rosenberg did not produce the desired result. And after Anastasiou's disallowed goal, Ajax left Utrecht empty-handed once again.