Ajax B1 through to semis despite loss

Ajax B1 through to semis despite loss

Ajax B1 didn’t succeed in becoming the group winner as they head into the Aegon Future Cup semi-finals. Due to a 0-2 loss to Liverpool, Saïd Ouaali’s team ended in second place. Now, Anderlecht awaits in the semi-finals.

The second day of the tournament was less pleasant than the first for Ajax. After defeating Celtic ((1-0) and Corinthians (4-0) yesterday, expectations were high, but Liverpool was simply too strong. They put Ajax under pressure while being very dangerous themselves at the same time. This combination would lead to a win, and first place in the pool.

Just like Ajax on the first day, Liverpool also had several standouts. With just a bit of imagination, it wasn’t difficult to visualize the hard working, dynamic midfielder Jordan Rossiter as Liverpool’s new Steven Gerrard. Team mate Olawaseyi Ojo was also impressive. He was somewhat reminiscent of Wayne Sturridge: left footed, swift, with a nose for the goal. It was he who scored the 1-0 goal, by searing past Ajax player Nathan Leyder and taking a hard shot. Ajax keeper Leon Bergsma never stood a chance.

Both before and after his goal things evened out, meaning that neither team had many opportunities. Centre forward Ezra Walian did have a chance, but his attack stalled at the edge of the penalty kick area. In hindsight, instead of dribbling through, he would have been better off taking a shot.

Liverpool’s quick 0-2 goal after halftime was a setback. A failed shot landed at Harry Wilson’s feet, and he didn’t hesitate to lift the ball artfully over Leon Bergsma. A great goal, from Ajax would not recover. There was a nice lob from Vaclav Cerny, but this landed onto the roof of the goal. The score remained 2-0, and Liverpool took possession of first place. They will meet AC Milan, while Ajax, as number two in the pool, will meet Anderlecht. One thing is for sure: it will be a tough game, considering the Belgians’ past two tournament wins.

Results Pool A:
Ajax - Liverpool 0-2
Celtic - Corinthians 1-1

Final Standings Pool A:
Liverpool 3-6
Ajax 3-6
Celtic 3-4
Corinthians 3-1

Results Pool B
AC Milan - Benfica 0-0
Fenerbahce - Anderlecht 0-2

Final Standings Pool B:
Anderlecht 3-9
AC Milan 3-4
Benfica 3-4
Fenerbahce 3-0

Semi-finals:
Ajax - Anderlecht
Liverpool - AC Milan