Despite the quick equaliser by Markus Rosenberg and a good goal by Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Ajax could not defeat Feyenoord in Rotterdam this Sunday. The Classic between the two archrivals in stadium De Kuip ended in a 3-2 loss for Danny Blind's team.
Strengthended by the win against Heerenveen in the Gatorade Cup, Ajax hoped for new success against Feyenoord. The match between the two teams is always a seperate entity and has litlle to do with the place in the league table of both clubs.
Ajax and Feyenoord played a crisp first half. Chances were divided equally, although the visitors played the better game in the first 15 minutes. Feyenoord fought back and coach Erwin Koeman's side took the lead when Nicky Hofs made it 1-0. Hardly a minute later, the sides were level again. Markus Rosenberg was served beautifully by defender Urby Emanuelson. The Swedish forward scored with ease: 1-1.
What followed was a fierce battle that was mainly played in midfield, where Wesley Sneijder's impulses were important to Ajax. But no goals yet for the away side. Feyenoord were on the mark, shortly before the end of the half. Dirk Kuyt rushed forward and he crossed to Romeo Castelen, who defeated goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg: 2-1.
Minutes after halftime, the home team dealt Ajax another powerful blow. Kuyt scored with a thunderous shot and with that, the Classic had been decided for all intents and purposes. ,,Tow two moments, shortly before and after haftime, were decisive'', said coach Danny Blind. ,,The 3-1 threw the match in the lock. After 1-0 we were lucky enough to score a quick equaliser. In the end, it was Feyenoord who could have gotten more goals.''
With Jeffrey Sarpong on for Sneijder, Ajax tried, but to no avail. After his official debut in the Gatorade Cup against FC Eindhoven, the teenager made his league debut for Ajax 1. Sarpong was given more than half an hour to gain experience in the most famous football match in Holland. With a few frivolous moves and attempts to set up his fellow forwards, Sarpong provided some colour to the for Ajax disappointing 'traditional' .
As was the case last Thursday against sc Heerenveen, Emanuelson and midfielder Olaf Lindenbergh both played a solid match. And Klaas Jan Huntelaar scored again. A long-distance effort by Hedwiges Maduro was put in by the new Ajax striker. It was a spare highlight despite the disappointment about the loss, said Blind: ,,Thankfully, Huntelaar scored again.''
Last season, Ajax left Rotterdam with a 3-2 victory. But not this time. Better luck in the next Classic.