After two years away, the ABN AMRO Future Cup is back in Amsterdam. The Ajax U17s added the eighth edition of the prestigious youth tournament to their name by defeating Bayern Munich 2-0 in the final. Giovanni de la Vega and Abdallah Aberkane scored the goals and brought the fully packed Toekomst sports complex to a joyful explosion.
It’s the fourth time that the Ajacieds crowned themselves as victors of this Easter tournament, and have won the most titles. Anderlecht has won it three times and last season, Arsenal was the surprise winner of the tournament.
Dream start for Ajax
Ajax had a dream start. After just two minutes, De la Vega opened the score. The forward reacted attentively to a clean pass by Mitchell Bakker and made good. Gery Vink’s team was sitting pretty early on. This was a world of difference with the semi-finals, when the Ajacieds had to fight back from being 0-2 down.
The semi-final match can only be called a thriller. The final game was less spectacular, but went completely according to plan for Ajax. After the early opening goal, Bayern applied pressure and was threatening several times. But the tying goal didn’t come. Ajax even increased its lead to 2-0. Aberkane scored.
The Amsterdam team was thus coolly efficient. Ajax was dangerous twice, and scored both times. In the period in between, Bayern had possession and the initiative, but failed to convert.
No reply from Bayern
All eyes were on Bayern in the second half, and they needed to come up with a reply. However, the German team didn’t manage to do that. Ajax held on to its lead easily and even had some more great opportunities. The outstanding Ryan Gravenberch, only 14 years old, was unable to crown a strong tournament with a goal in the finals. Michael Wagner prevented him from doing that with great keeping.
Ajax sailed to the finish and, after 62 minutes, received flowers and started the celebration. The Future Cup is back in safe, trusted hands: Ajax’s.
Score summary: 3. De la Vega 1-0, 24. Aberkane 2-0
Starting lineup Ajax: Reiziger, Dest, Aberkane, Botman, Bakker, J. Maduro, Gravenburch, De la Vega, Sint, Van Gelderen, Schon