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Ajax and Aalborg evenly matched: 1-1

Ajax and Aalborg evenly matched: 1-1

Ajax has tied its second friendly game of the pre-season.  They played to a 1-1 draw against the Danish Aalborg. Danilo scored the goal for Ajax.  Keeper Kjell Scherpen made his unofficial debut in the second half.

After a big win against the amateurs from Quick ’20 (2-11), Ajax’s second friendly match of the pre-season was, naturally, less goal intensive.  Aalborg, which will start competition play on July 14, was a strong opponent in the first half.  It was only after the break, when Erik ten Hag sent a totally renewed team onto the field, that Ajax dominated.

The Dutch champion made a good start in this game at Sportpark Vondersweijde, and almost took the lead after just 8 minutes.  A half overhead kick by Klaas Jan Huntelaar was stopped by keeper Jacob Rinne.  Despite this dominance in the first minutes, it was the Danish team that took the lead after fifteen minutes of play.  former Ajacied Lucas Andersen made a pass from the left, after which Tom van Weert (formerly of FC Groningen) sent the ball past Bruno Varela.

Ajax escapes

After about thirty minutes, Aalborg almost increased its lead to 0-2, but Andersen couldn’t take advantage of his team’s numeric advantage (5 forwards against 2 defenders) and sent a curving shot wide of the goal.  Ajax was under increasingly more pressure and seemed poised to go down even more.  But Van Weert missed a penalty in the 41st minute (high over) and, shortly after, Kasper Kusk sent another ball wide of the goal.

With 10 fresh players (among which Kjell Scherpen’s unofficial debut) Ajax took over in the second half.  Danilo had a big opportunity right away, but failed to score from nearby.  In the 49th minute, he did score.  The Brazilian player shot the ball into the goal with his left foot, on a good pass from Lassina Traoré.

After the tying goal, Ajax was the better team, but didn’t have any more good opportunities.  The score remained 1-1, a realistic result considering the balance of power during the entire 90 minutes.

Ajax - Aalborg BK 1-1 (0-1): 17. Van Weert 0-1, 49. Pereira 1-1

Line up first half: Varela; Veltman, Magallán, Pierie, Martínez; De Wit, Jensen, Ekkelenkamp; Cerny, Huntelaar, Labyad.

Line up second half: Scherpen; Dest, Schuurs, Botman, J. Timber; Q. Timber, De Wit (62. Ter Heide), Lang; Kühn, Traoré, Danilo.