Ajax rule in Rotterdam

Ajax rule in Rotterdam

A late goal by Hedwiges Maduro, who played his first Classic, gave Ajax another victory in stadium de Kuip in Rotterdam against Feyenoord. Of the 49 league matches there, Ajax have now won 17, drew 16 and lost 16 times.

Ajax were the better team from the beginning. The teram from Amsterdam comined better, found each other more easily, but neglected to put the Feyenoord defence under more pressure. The home side received a scare early in the match, when Bruno Basto head-butted his teammate Hossam Ghaly into a knock-out. Ghaly had to be rushed to the hospital, Basto could play on, but with difficulty.

Ajax played most of the time on Feyenoord's half. ,,Our last line was thinking forward more", Danny Blind noticed to his satisfaction. ,,We were calm in our position play, without playing slowly. The supply to Kuyt we cut off by moving a central defender foward.''

However, Feyenoord took the lead through Salomon Kalou right after halftime. ,,We had the match under control, but you can never control Feyenoord's forwards a hundred per cent. They have so much quality'', Blind said.

Nigel de Jong levelled within ten minutes. Yet Ajax seemed down and out when Dirk Kuyt surprisingly made it 2-1 in the 80th minute. But Ajax never gave up. Zdenek Grygera went forward and he volleyed Hatem Trabelsi long pass hard behind goalkeeper Babos: 2-2. Feyenoord's defence was nowhere to be found.

In injury time, that was the case again. Grygera played it long to Nourdin Boukhari who only had Babos to beat. He failed, but got the ball back. Ajax had more players there than the home team and Hedwiges Maduro decided the first Classic he ever played in with a shot high in the goal: 2-3.

,,This is fantastic for the team and the club", Blind said. ,,After 2-1, you don't expect anything anymore. But we deserved to win and I am pleased that I saw the things that we talk about and practise. That would have been the same if it would have stayed 2-2, but winning makes it even better.''