The home team had little ball possession in the first half. This was until the Berliners started their attack and Bassey happened to make an unlucky hands ball. The VAR called referee De Burgos to the sideline, who, after some hesitation, gave a penalty to FC Union Berlin. Gero Rulli was close, but Knoche’s shot hit the net.
This resulted in the story unfolding itself in the way one does not want it to in the lion’s den. The Germans, famously known for their incredibly strong defense, pulled back and lured for the counters.
It was up to Ajax to create speed, surprise attacks, and good combination play. They succeeded occasionally and were close to reaching the same heights as the German team right before half-time. Sadly, Mohammed Kudus’ goal was ruled off-side. Once more, Ajax was hit by the German force after an attempt from Juranovic could not be stopped by Rulli; 2-0.
There was hope for Ajax shortly after the resumption of the second half. Steven Bergwijn gave a smart assist, after which Kudus made the goal: 2-1. Ajax was still alive.
Sadly, their joy did not last long. Three minutes later, the home team scored again. Ex-Ajax player Doekhi scored after a corner, which put Heitinga’s team two goals behind. Ajax failed to repair that damage.
FC Union Berlin – Ajax 3-1 (2-0)
20. Knoche (p) 1-0
44. Juranovic 2-0
47. Kudus 2-1
50. Doekhi 3-1
Ajax: Rulli; Rensch (84. Conceicão), Timber, Álvarez, Bassey; Klaassen (64. Brobbey), Kudus, Taylor; Berghuis, Tadic, Bergwijn (80. Lucca)