Ajax realise too late what has to happen

Ajax have not been able to make the difference with Maccabi Tel-Aviv. The team from Amsterdam had to at least get a draw in Israel to retain their lead over Maccabi in the battle for European survival. But Ajax only just scored in the closing stages, through Daniel de Ridder, but it wasn't enough: 2-1 to Maccabi.

Only in the last minutes, Ajax seemed to realise what needed to be done. After the team were down 2-0, Ajax tried to battle themseleves back into the match. Thankfully, through a goal by De Ridder, it finished 2-1.

In the first half, a defensive Ajax did not give away any real chances, except from a shot on the crossbar from a corner, but the side from Amsterdam hardly created anything for themselves either.

In the second half there were more opportunities to enjoy. But more for the home team than for Ajax, whom seemed unable to find each other.

Twice the home team benefitted from mistakes by the visitors. Dego was too quick for Obodai and made it 1-0. Minutes later, Dego was the first one there, to react to an unlucky pass from Johnny Heitinga to Maarten Stekelenburg. The goalkeeper could not do anything but try to kick the ball away, but Dego got a foot against it and all of a sudden it was 2-0.

After three substitutions, Ajax's game improved. Nourdin Boukhari came on for Nicolae Mitea, Wesley Sonck replaced Steven Pienaar and Daniƫl de Ridder went on for Anthony Obodai. Ajax pressed on, made it 2-1 but that was it. ,,The 2-1 came a little bit too late", Koeman said. ,,I am disappointed with our play, but at least the two matches against each other are in our favour. But we expected more today. Maybe we can do something against Juventus now that they have qualified for the next round. (Juve beat Bayernn 1-0.)