Ajax bites down hard on defensive AZ


Ajax has lost expensive points in the Dutch Eredivisie. AZ came on Sunday to the Johan Cruijff ArenA with a defensive battle plan and eventually dominated the home team: 1-2.


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In the first 45 minutes, Ajax shoots failed to reach their target. Up to about thirty meters from the AZ goal there was a nice combination, but too often it stopped when a decisive pass was needed.

Back in the game
Just when Ajax was becoming a bit more dangerous shortly after the break, AZ struck. After a breakthrough on the right via Sugawara, the Greek Pavlidis scored: 0-1. Ajax then got back in the game with the equaliser by Sébastien Haller, making it 1-1 fifteen minutes before time.

In the phase after that goal, everything indicated that Ajax would run away with the three points. The opportunities followed one another in close succession. But suddenly the goal was scored by other side, when Aboukhlal got the ball at his feet via AZ captain, Wijndal and shot it in.

In stoppage time, a goal by substitute, Perr Schuurs, seemed to offer solace, but Haller's goal was preceded by offside. The score remained 1-2, so Ajax lost expensive points in the Dutch Eredivisie.

Ten Hag: 'Lacking conviction'
Ajax-coach Erik ten Hag was anything but satisfied with what Ajax rolled out against AZ: 1-2. "We lacked one hundred percent conviction. You see that in the final phase and in the transition. Then you are forced to play catch up. You have to make the right choices and have the will to get into a position to create real chances."

According to the coach, the goals against them were far too easy. "You have to keep doing your job and not let people walk all over you. In both goals against us, we failed to deliver. You always have to maintain that discipline, otherwise you suffer damage."

Ajax - AZ 1-2 (0-0)
50. Pavlidis 0-1
73. Haller 1-1
83. Aboukhlal 1-2

Pasveer; Rensch (58. Schuurs), Timber, Martínez, Blind; Álvarez (58. Klaassen), Berghuis (86. Danilo), Gravenberch; Antony, Haller, Tadic.

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