Ajax lose to PSV in intense cup final


On Sunday evening Ajax lost to PSV in the cup final. The team from Eindhoven beat the Amsterdam team 2-1 in a nerve-jangling duel. At half time, Ajax took the lead with a goal from Ryan Gravenberch, but shortly after half time they let the advantage slip through their fingers.


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Compared with the match against Sparta Rotterdam, Erik ten Hag made a number of changes in the basic team composition. This meant Noussair Mazraoui, Lisandro Martínez and Brian Brobbey were there at the kickoff of the cup final. This was at the cost of Perr Schuurs, Nico Tagliafico and Sébastien Haller, who did not appear. Maarten Stekelenburg also made an appearance in goal, with André Onana being left out of the team for the match.

Mohamed Ihattaren made his appearance in Ten Hag's selection. The former PSV player had already played for Ajax Youth team in three matches, and on Sunday he was rewarded with his appearance in the Keuken Kampioen division. 

Advantage via Gravenberch
PSV came on strong from the dressing room, leaving Ajax to search for opportunities in the opening phase. Within eleven minutes Zahavi gave the Eindhoven team the advantage, but the goal was disallowed due to being offside. Ajax rallied after a difficult first quarter. In the 23rd minute, this led to the opening goal. After a beautiful partnership between Gravenberch and Davy Klaassen, the nineteen year-old midfielder stuck the ball with a precision shot behind PSV's last man, Mvogo - result: 0-1.

Opportunity for 0-2
Shortly after the opening goal Brobbey got a real chance to extend the lead. Klaassen passed on an excellent effort from Daley Blind, allowing the Ajax frontman to pop up in front of an open goal. Brobbey received the ball at waist height, making it difficult for him to put it away, with the ball going wide.

Shortly before half time Noussair Mazraoui looked like he would still bring the score to 0-2, but after a VAR check the goal was disallowed due to Dusan Tadic being offside. This meant that the Amsterdam team went into half time with a 0-1 advantage.

PSV advantage
The Eindhoven team made a strong start in the second half. During an extended free kick, Ajax were surprised by the unexpected appearance of Gutiérrez. The Mexican midfielder took his revenge: 1-1. Two minutes later the damage became even worse. After a weak pass from Martinez, the ball arrived at the feet of Gakpo, who outsmarted Stekelenburg with a long-range shot.

Unlucky Ajax
Ajax responded robustly, and appeared to draw level at 2-2 via Davy Klaassen. Unfortunately the images showed Brobbey to be marginally offside, spoiling the party. Just a few minutes later, Ajax got another opportunity to equalise. After a cross from Mazraoui the ball arrived at Tadic on two occasions. The Ajax captain struck the ball hard, but hit the post with a diagonal shot.

Amsterdam's final offensive
In the 72nd minute Ten Hag decided to make two substitutions. Schuurs and Haller came on to replace Mazraoui and Edson Álvarez. The changes had an almost immediate effect. Schuurs had only just got on the pitch when an opportunity was forced on him. The defender took a close shot but hit goalie Mvogo's legs.

Five minutes before full time Klaassen and Steven Berghuis were replaced by Ihattaren and Mohammed Kudus. Despite the fresh attack Ajax was unable to turn the match in their favour, meaning that they are all done in the Eredivisie. This leaves Ajax with a four-point lead over PSV.

PSV – Ajax 2-1 (0-1)
23. Gravenberch 0-1
48. Gutiérrez 1-1
50. Gakpo 2-1

Ajax: Stekelenburg; Mazraoui (72. Schuurs), Timber, Martínez, Blind; Alvárez (72. Haller), Gravenberch, Klaassen (86. Ihattaren); Berghuis (86. Kudus), Brobbey, Tadic

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Highlights PSV - Ajax

Ajax were unable to secure their 21st Dutch Cup win in the history of the club. Erik ten Hag's team went down 2-1 in De Kuip in Rotterdam against PSV. Ajax managed to take the lead in the first half with a beautiful goal from Ryan Gravenberch. Straight after half time Ajax went down by two goals.


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