As with the home match against PEC Zwolle, Erik ten Hag decided to adopt a 4-4-2 system. The Ajax coach made three substitutions. Edson Álvarez, Devyne Rensch and Brian Brobbey appeared at kick off. They took the places of Youri Regeer, injured Ryan Gravenberch and Mohammed Kudus. Noussair Mazraoui came back in the match selection, but started on the bench.
Ajax made a strong start in Alkmaar. From the first minute, the Amsterdam team applied pressure and were on the offensive. Both teams created a number of small chances, but no early goal was scored. After an energetic fifteen minutes, Ajax had plenty of possession, nevertheless chinks in the defensive armour of AZ proved difficult to find.
Opening goal from Brobbey
Shortly before half time Ajax succeeded in gaining the advantage with a goal from Brobbey. A deep ball from Kenneth Taylor dropped over the top of the AZ defence. The Ajax striker escaped from his direct opponent Hatzidiakos, came eye to eye with Vindahl and spooned the ball over the AZ goalie: 0-1.
AZ turns round disadvantage
AZ scored the equaliser in the 61st minute. Wijndal steamed down the left hand side of the pitch and sent a cross to Pavlidis, which Daley Blind knocked up into the air. The Greek striker left Stekelenburg with no way to respond. Fifteen minutes before full time, Ajax ended up behind once more. After a cross from Karlsson, Evjen slipped free and fired the ball behind Stekelenburg: 2-1.
Shortly after this heavy blow, Sébastien Haller got a great chance for an equaliser. A cross from Berghuis was shot over the AZ goal at close range by the Ivorian.
Equaliser from Álvarez
Shortly before full time, Ajax still managed to draw level - the Mexican converted a well-struck corner from Dusan Tadic into a goal : 2-2. After the equaliser, the Ajax players ramped up the pressure on the AZ defence. Ajax created a number of other good opportunities, but they were unable to move into the lead.
This brought the duel in Alkmaar to a final score of 2-2.
AZ – Ajax 2-2 (0-1)
42. Brobbey 0-1
61. Pavlidis 1-1
75. Evjen 2-1
86. Álvarez 2-2
Ajax: Stekelenburg; Rensch (66. Mazraoui), Timber, Blind (82. Kudus), Tagliafico; Álvarez, Taylor (66. Berghuis), Klaassen, Tadic; Brobbey (70. Daramy), Haller