Ajax posted its first friendly match win of the 2016-2017 season in Béziers. In the Stade de la Méditerannée, Ajax defeated the French team by 0-2. The Amsterdam goals were scored after halftime by Daley Sinkgraven and Richairo Zivkovic.
Prior to the match in Béziers, a solemn minute of silence for Uri Coronel was observed. The Ajax players also wore mourning bands in honour of the former Ajax chairman.
Father and son
Looking at the field in France, you could see a combination of up and coming talents and veterans at Ajax. A great example was Matthijs De Ligt (16) and Heiko Westermann(32), who is twice his age. The duo could technically have been father and son, but nothing could be further from the truth: the two defenders formed the defense’s central heart.
Both teams started out cautiously. It was only in the 35th minute that Béziers forward Bueno had the first real opportunity of the match. The forward with the promising last name sent the ball straight onto Ajax keeper Andre Onana. On the other side of the field, captain Nemanja Gudelj had a great opportunity on the edge of the box, but his free kick flew into the French wall.
The spectators had to wait until the 58th minute for a bit of show. It was midfielder Daley Sinkgraven who sent the ball against the ropes from outside the penalty kick area: 0-1. This put Bézier into offensive mode, but Bousnard’s two shots went over. On the other side, striker Richairo Zivkovic had a sharper aim. A few minutes later, he scored with a well-placed shot: 0-2. This was the final score after 90 minutes, and Ajax’s first friendly match win was in the bag.
“I think that this win is important. It gives everyone a good feeling”, said Peter Bosz afterwards. “If I have that feeling, then the young guys definitely do, too.”
But improvement is still needed, according to Bosz. “I didn’t think that this was high-quality football, and this needs to get better. We’re not sending the ball around quickly enough, we’re losing possession quickly and the spaces are too big to apply pressure properly. That’s something that will take more time, and the dry field didn’t help today. The second half was better, the opponent got tired, and more spaces were created.”
Béziers - Ajax 0-2 (0-0): 58. Sinkgraven 0-1, 69. Zivkovic 0-2
Line-up Ajax: Onana (45. Boer), Dankerlui, De Ligt, Westermann, Lartey-Sanniez, De Jong (70. Becker) , Gudelj, Sinkgraven, Muric, Zivkovic, Cerny.