In their first real test for the new season, Ajax showed to be a resilient team. The match against Atletico Madrid in the Amsterdam Tournament ended in a 3-3 draw. Luis Suarez scored the equaliser from the penalty spot in the final minute.
Martin Jol wanted to play with his strongest possible lineup. He started in a 4-4-2 system, with Dario Cvitanich and Luis Suarez up front. The two make for an interesting duo. The brilliance of the Uruguayan captain and the work ethic of the Argentinian striker go well together. It was no coincidence that they combined for the first goal. Suarez gave the assist and Cvitanich struck: 1-0. ,,It was nice that we scored after only eight minutes”, said Jol who made his debut in the ArenA. ,,We played fine in the first twenty minutes, because Maxi Rodriguez is top-class and Simão, Forlan and Aguero are a handfull too. They are smart players.”
How smart became clear after 30 minutes. Ajax were careless and Atletico could cross from the right. Maarten Stekelenburg got a hand against the ball but had no chance when Simão struck.
Ajax seemed shaken after that, and Atletico, with former Ajax player John Heitinga in defence, took the initiative. Aguero scored from between Van der Wiel and Wielaert: 1-2.
In the second half Ajax played with passion and spirit to erase the deficit ,,We bounced back after some difficult moments”, said Jol. Through substitute Dennis Rommedahl Ajax levelled. Miralem Sulejmani, on for Cvitanich, crossed and Rommedahl headed the ball in. ,,That was the first time in twelve years he scored with his head”, Jol joked.
But it did not last long. After Ajax lost the ball in midfield, Maxi Rodriquez gave his team the lead back: 2-3. ,,We gave away the first and third goals. We have to work on that. We have to anticipate better, because we will lose the ball sometimes”, Jol said.
In de 83rd minute Ajax came close to equalising again, but Sulejmani's shot was cleared off the line. In the final minute, Ajax got was it deserved. Rommedahl was brought down and Ajax were given a penalty. Captain Luis Suarez struckhard from the spot: 3-3.
Ajax will face Benfica on Sunday. The Portugese team are in the lead with five points after defeating Sunderland by 2-0. Ajax and Atletico follow with four points. The Ajax match starts at 9 pm, after the match of Atletico Madrid against Sunderland, who are in last place with 0 points.