On Thursday, Ajax won its closed friendly match against NEC. At the Toekomst sports complex, the score was 2-1. Noussair Mazraoui and Adham El Idrissi scored the goals for the Amsterdam team. The win can be largely attributed to Diederik Boer, who saved two penalty kicks in the second half.
Friendly matches are now common occurrences during interland periods, especially to keep non-internationals in their rhythm. A mix of Ajax 1, the Ajax Reserves and under 19s played against NEC. From the A-selection, Diederik Boer, Heiko Westermann, Nick Viergever, Mitchell Dijks and Amin Younes took part. NEC played its first team.
Marcel Keizer, the coach of the Ajax Reserves, was in charge. The technical staff from Ajax 1 watched from the sidelines, and saw a good first half. Ajax was in control against the acclaimed NEC team. Mazraoui took advantage of a defensive mistake at NEC after 26 minutes, right before the break, El Idrissi scored on a pass from Amin Younes, 2-0.
With a bit more precision, the Amsterdam team could have scored even more goals in the first half. Opponent NEC announced themselves twice in the first half via Mohamen Rayhi, but he shot wide from a good position and also found Boer in his path on a long distance attempt.
Smattering of opportunities
It wasn’t Rayhi’s afternoon, as he failed to convert a smattering of opportunities in the second half. The biggest one came after 52 minutes, shortly after a goal by Jay-Roy Grot, but Boer stopped a Rayhi penalty. The ball was placed on the spot after a foul by Markus Bay.
Boer repeated the feat thirteen minutes before time. This time, with a feline reflex into the other corner, he left Kévin Mayi empty-handed. NEC was clearly more dangerous in the second half, but failed to cash in. In extra time, Ajax avoided a tying goal when defender Frank Sturing saw his ball land on the post.
Ajax – NEC 2-1 (2-0). 26. Mazraoui 1-0, 45. El Idrissi 2-0, 48. Grot 2-1
Line-up Ajax: Boer, Lartey-Sanniez, Westermann, Viergever (46. Bergsma), Dijks, Eiting, Antonucci (60. Boultam), Mazraoui, Bay, El Idrissi, Younes