The organisers of the benefit match between Ajax and the Marocprofs were hoping for a spectacular game and that is what they got. Ajax was defeated 3-2 in the Amsterdam ArenA. The supporters, mainly of Moroccan descent, created a great atmosphere. But more important: the match generated a lot of money for the victims of the earthquake that struck the north of Morocco in February.
Although the match was strictly a friendly, once on the pitch both teams wanted to win. Steven Pienaar was the first to score. He put Ajax ahead after 19 minutes.
The Marocprofs saw a goal disallowed for offside and at halftime Ajax coach Ronald Koeman made many substitutions. Tom Soetaers and Wesley Sonck returned after being injured for a long time and Jerold Promes and Rasmus Lindgren, players of Young Ajax, were given their minutes. Martin Jol, coach of the Marocprofs, brought on Jamal Akachar (Ajax 2) and Nourdin Boukhari, Ajax player on loan to NAC Breda.
Fifteen minutes into the second half, Boukhari found Akachar with a nice lob pass. Akachar fired and the ball went in off the leg of defender Julien Escudé: 1-1. The fans went wild.
They went even wilder when the Moroccans took the lead. Ali Boussabon fired the ball past goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg: 1-2.
Ten minutes later, Wesley Sonck brought his team alongside the Marocprofs. The Belgian striker was relieved to be fit again. ,,These are the first 45 minutes I have played in months.''
The Moroccans had the last word. Promes and Escudé both hesitated on a ball just past the halfway line. Boussabon did not and with a fantastic lob he defeated Stekelenburg who had come far away from his goal: 2-3.
It was a good night of football and, most importantly, more than 200,000 was collected for the victims of the earthquake in Morocco.