Anderlecht reached the finals of the ABN AMRO Future Cup on Monday morning at the expense of Ajax U17s. The title holder defeated Ajax 0-2. Ajax thus fails to reach the finals for the first time in the Future Cup’s 7-year existence. Anderlecht will meet either Arsenal or Barcelona.
Ajax and Anderlecht are the masters of the Future Cup, which has yet to be won by another club. Both teams have won the tournament three times. The fact that the Future Cup powerhouses met in the semi-finals this time was due to the fact that Ajax finished in second place, behind Arsenal, in pool A. The other group was won by Anderlecht.
This followed the expectation that Ajax would face a tough game, and this is what happened. In the first half, Ajax was mainly dangerous via long distance shots. Francesco Antonucci came closest to success. His shot hit the crossbar. Antonucci, who was playing against his former club, also saw his free kick sail wide of the Anderlecht goal. Noa Lang put Mile Svilar to the test as well, but the keeper made a difficult save and, fortunately for him, no Ajacieds were present to react on the rebound.
Anderlecht had the biggest opportunities and the Belgians took advantage. Sebastian Bornauw’s 0-1 goal came out of nowhere. The captain was able to score on a free kick from nearby. Ajax’s defense didn’t escape without more damage. Eight minutes before halftime – in the Future Cup, two thirty-minute halves are played – the score increased to 0-2. Milan Corryn scored after a fluid combination.
Coach Frank Peereboom took action at halftime with a double substitution. Jasper ter Heide and Martijn Kaars came in for Lars Kramer and Sven Botman. Ajax thus played the second half with a 3-4-3 formation and centre forward Kaars’ job was to bring some more offensive power to Ajax.
Ajax applied pressure in the second half, but the desired goal didn’t come. Ajax had opportunities, but a double attempt (first by Ruben Hoogenhout, and then by Antonucci) didn’t produce any goals. The same was true of Noa Lang’s header. Anderlecht didn’t flex its offensive muscles much in the second half. The Belgians nursed their lead and, shortly before the end, failed to make good on a great opportunity.
Score summary: 12. Bornauw 0-1, 22. Corryn 0-2
Ajax U17: Bouman, Kramer (31. Ter Heide), Hoogenhout, Bakker, Botman (31. Kaars), Ekkelenkamp, Familia Castillio, Antonucci (40. El Azrak), Nunnely (46. Owusu Sekyere), Redan (40. Lopez)