Ajax and AZ started the match in the Johan Cruyff ArenA Sunday full of energy. However, great opportunities were few and far between in the opening stages, after which the game gradually just got slower. A sluggish ball was partly to blame for Ajax facing problems breaking down the Alkmaar defence during the first half.
Amourricho, who was making his debut appearance for the Amsterdam main team, had to go off just after forty minutes due to injury. Shortly afterwards, Steijn's squad suffered another setback. On the stroke of half time, AZ scored in Amsterdam. Vangelis Pavlidis scored from close range: 1-0.
In the second half Ajax needed to put its affairs in order. Success, however, eluded the Amsterdam team. After almost an hour into play, former Ajax player Dani de Wit doubled AZ's lead, making the task ahead even more tricky for Steijn's team.
With more than fifteen minutes left on the clock, Ajax fought their way back into the match thanks to a goal from substitute Van den Boomen. That's where the Ajax team remained, however, the match ending in 1-2.
Ajax - AZ 1-2 (0-1)
45. Pavlidis 0-1
57. De Wit 0-2
73. Van den Boomen 1-2
Ajax: Gorter, Rensch (46. Gaaei), Medić (89. Akpom), Avila, Hato, Vos (68. Van den Boomen), Taylor, Bergwijn, Forbs, Brobbey, Amourricho (41. Mikautadze)