An Ajax combination team lost a practice match to AZ on Wednesday. The Alkmaar team celebrated a 1-3 win at de Toekomst. Kasper Dolberg crowned his first minutes of play with Ajax 1 with a goal.
For both Ajax and AZ, this was a game in which mainly reserves players were given the opportunity to show what they can do a few days before competition play resumes. Neither team sent regular players onto the field. The young talents were the ones who received playing time.
With the exception of Damil Dankerlui, Ajax had an experienced defence at its disposal. However, the Amsterdam team’s defence were led astray several times in the same manner. AZ made its mark with several sharp counters.
After twelve minutes, this led to the 0-1 goal. Robert Mühren was played into a free position in front of Diederik Boer and the Ajax goalie was beaten with a subtle lob. Ten minutes before halftime, the centre forward struck again, this time with a penalty kick. Mühren took a shot from twelve yards out after Mike van der Hoorn’s foul on Levi Garcia.
A few minutes prior to that, Van der Hoorn had been the team’s saving grace by saving a Mühren shot from the goal line. The AZ centre forward had already passed Boer.
Ajax had several good opportunities in the first half as well. Unlike AZ, Ajax was unable to find the goal. Yaya Sanogo appeared in front of keeper Nick Olij, but Frenchman’s shot bounced off the goalie’s body and was sent wide.
The biggest opportunity followed a bit later. Thulani Serero saw his long distance low shot land on the post, after which the hungry Abdelhak Nouri had the rebound at his feet, ready to shoot into the goal. The midfielder’s shot went wide of the AZ goal.
There was a shower of opportunities in the first half, and that was in line with the bleak weather conditions. The rain poured down and as a result, the ball wasn’t able to roll properly on the artificial turf. At one point, the match seemed to be a synchronised swimming tournament.
In the second half, the entertainment value of the match dropped, although there was one fantastic moment for Ajax. Dolberg scored his first goal for Ajax 1. The Dane took advantage of the AZ defence’s hesitation, and scored the 1-2 goal.
Ajax had the momentum for a little while, but the home team was unable to tie the game. In fact, seventeen minutes before time, AZ increased its lead to two goals. A shot by Stijn Spierings disappeared beautifully into the upper left corner: 1-3.
Ajax will play on artificial turf once again on Sunday. ADO Den Haag is their opponent as competition play resumes. AZ will be visiting Roda JC.
Ajax – AZ 1-3 (0-2). 12. Mühren 0-1, 35. Mühren 0-2 (strafschop), 57. Dolberg 1-2, 73. Spierings 1-3
Line-upAjax: Boer, Van Rhijn, Van der Hoorn, Viergever, Dankerlui, Serero (46. Sinkgraven), Nouri, Schöne, El Ghazi, Sanogo, (46. Dolberg), Cerny