Ajax drew their closed friendly game against Telstar 1-1 on Thursday afternoon. Marcel Keizer’s selection, rounded out with Ajax Reserves players, was 0-1 down at halftime. Siem de Jong scored the tying goal thanks to a penalty kick, but that’s as far as it went at the Toekomst sports complex.
Keizer called on several Ajax Reserves players due to the interland period. Danilho Doekhi, Azor Matusiwa and Damil Dankerlui thus had starting spots. Benjamin van Leer also started the game against the Jupiler League’s number 4 team. The 25 year old keeper was relieved by Kostas Lamprou after the break.
To everyone’s surprise, the guests took the lead early in the first half. The goal was initiated by Luis Orejuela, who shoved his direct opponent. This was a costly move for the quick right back, because the curving free kick landed at the fee of Donny van Iperen, who had come up. The central defender scored the 0-1 goal with a high shot.
Physical play versus position play
The Ajacieds went on the hunt for a tying goal by attacking frequently on the right side. Thus Orejuela and Siem de Jong reached David Neres very often. But the Brazilian forward was unable to give the last push. This was to the great benefit of the visiting team from Velsen-Zuid, who succeeded in turning the game into a physical one.
On a few rare occasions, Ajax found a solution to this physical approach. These short spurts of quick combination play gave little opportunity to Telstar, with the exception of Sven van der Maaten. The keeper kept Neres and Siem de Jong at bay with great saves. The much-desired tying goal’s absence led to dissatisfaction for Ajax. They retreated to the locker rooms looking gloomy.
Subdued 2nd half
Ajax had an equally difficult time with the visitors in the second half. The clean final pass was lacking, and Klaas Jan Huntelaar was thus relegated to invisibility in the penalty kick area. The 34 year-old striker continued to lurk waiting for his first big opportunity. This came in the 70th minute, when he was reached by Siem de Jong after a good pass. This was immediately rewarded, as after an evasive move, his shot landed on the opponent’s hand. Siem de Jong, who had made the pass, scored on the penalty kick: 1-1.
Darren Sidoel experienced a personal highlight in the 80th minute. The 19 year old defender made his unofficial debut in the first team. This ended up being one of the only highlights of a very subdued second half. The result was an educational sparring game for Keizer & company: 1-1.
Ajax Line-up: Van Leer (45. Lamprou), Orejuela, Doekhi, Viergever, Sinkgraven; S. de Jong, Matusiwa (65. Bijleveld), Dankerlui (70. Sidoel), Neres, Huntelaar, Cassierra.
Score summary: 10. Van Iperen 0-1, 65. Siem de Jong 1-1.