It was a very close call in Enschede. Wthin the space of one minute, shortly before the end of FC Twente - Ajax, the visitors secured three crucial points. Goals by Hedwiges Maduro and Urby Emanuelson tipped the scale in favour of the team from Amsterdam.
Ajax showed resilience and grit against FC Twente. Two goals by Blaise N'Kufo had Ajax facing a deficit for almost 88 minutes. The strong striker gave the home side their first lead after 24 minutes when he received the ball, turned and fired it past goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.
Matters got worse when Wesley Sneijder had be taken off after 40 minutes with an injury. Ajax were not sharp in the first half and were careless when playing near the opposing box. Twente had the better chances in the first half.
Ajax could hardly enjoy the equaliser, scored five minutes after halftime by Markus Rosenberg who neatly headed in a precise cross by Mauro Rosales. Less than a minute later, N'Kufo again got the better of the Ajax defence. Georgi Gakhokidze's shot found Stekelenburg's fists, after which the ball made a curious flight through the air, only to be headed in by Twente's number 9.
With the 2-1 deficit, it was all or nothing for Ajax. The visitors were lucky that Twente did nothing with two counter attacks that would have sealed the match. Ajax seemed to gain strength from the fact that the home side failed to decide the match.
With the 2-2 by Hedwiges Maduro in the 88th minute, Ajax seemed to escape with a reasonable result. Maduro received the ball from scrimmage before the goal and fired it in the back of the net past goalkeeper Sander Boschker.
,,In the decisive phase, we were lucky, although the goals were deserved'', said coach Danny Blind. ,,Ajax had the most and the best chances. FC Twente scored a hundred per cent, with two goals from two chances. In any case, I can compliment my team with the way they fought.''
In a period in which supersub Urby Emanuelson played on the right flank and Rosales on the left, Ajax were unexpectedly rewarded for their hard work. Emanuelson got the ball just outside the box and fired it in the far corner, out of reach from Boschker.
,,We didn't play our best game today'', said Emanuelson. ,,Apparently, something always has to happen first, before everybody gives it their all. Today we were Lucky Ajax again. Winning this way, it won't happen again very often.''
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