Ajax played to its first tie of the practice season on Wednesday night. While visiting SSV Jahn Regensburg, Frank de Boer’s team didn’t manage a single goal: 0-0. Kolbeinn Sigthórsson didn’t play in southern Germany. The Icelandic native watched the match from the stands, as did most of the internationals.
The much awaited match had been played up with much pomp and circumstance all week on Regensburg local radio. To the tune of ‘Tulpen uit Amsterdam’ (Tulips from Amsterdam), the third division club hoped for a shower of goals from Amsterdam. Exactly zero were scored during the first forty five minutes in the Jahn Stadium.
Ajax played without most of its internationals during this game, which took place about 100km away from the training camp in Fürth. In the cosy Regensburg stadium, which has a beer brewery just steps behind one of the goals, Kolbeinn Sigthórsson didn’t play. Just as Maarten Stekelenburg – who made his re-entry last Wednesday – the Icelandic native watched the match from the stands. Aras Özbiliz played half of the match as centre forward, as he had during previous practice matches against Buitenpost, AZSV and Emmen.
Under captain André Ooijer’s lead, Ajax had two great opportunities during the first half. Miralem Sulejmani raced past his opponent, but his play sputtered once he reached the box. After the thirty minute mark, Rodney Sneijder had Ajax’s second opportunity. On a Sulejmani pass, he shot from the far corner onto the keeper. Jahn Regensburg answered with a few dangerous moments of their own, but Kenneth Vermeer stood between them and a goal. Vermeer was especially impressive during an opportunity by Tobias Schweinsteiger, who is German international Bastian Schweinsteiger’s brother.
Four new players appeared on Ajax’s side after the break. Frank de Boer attempted to erase the zero score on the board by bringing in Eyong Enoh for Sneijder, Koppers for Alderweireld and Castillion for Özbiliz. Jeroen Verhoeven defended Ajax’s goal after the break. But after five minutes, Verhoeven was grateful for Ooijer’s assistance after Schweinsteiger outplayed the keeper and had a free goal open in front of him. The captain made the save at the goal line.
Ajax remained on the hunt for a goal during the rest of the second half, via Castillion and Sulejmani. Schweinsteiger also posed a threat one more time across the field at Verhoeven’s goal. After a few more substitutions on both sides, only eight of the original 22 players were still on the field. But none were able to claim a winning goal, which left Ajax with its first tie of the practice season.
Ajax will close the Fürth training camp on Saturday with a practice match against 1.FC Nürnberg. The duel against the Bundesliga club begins at 3p.m.