Ajax break losing streak at Utrecht

Seven years Ajax had to wait, but at the restart of the 2004-2005 season they managed a win at FC Utrecht. After a difficult first half, the team from Amsterdam were superoir in the second. Wesley Sneijder and Ryan Babel scored: 0-2.

It was the third time this seasons the two teams met. In Amsterdam Ajax twice had failed to defeat Utrecht. A 1-1 draw in a league match followed a 4-2 loss in the match for the Johan Cruijff Shield.

Ronald Koeman did not change much in his team. The coach did not think the time was right to put Maarten Stekelenburg back in the goal. He went with Johnny Heitinga as replacement for injured captain Tomás Galásek. But all eyes in Utrecht were on Angelos Charisteas. Could the Greek hero of Euro 2004 make people forget about Zlatan Ibrahimovic?

The Greek striker played a fine debut match, creating chances for both himself and his teammates. ,,He played well'', said Koeman. ,,He can hold onto the ball well and moves at the right time. A real team player who can make others play better.''

In the second half Ajax dominated and got the goal the team deserved. Charisteas touched it to the middle, and Wesley Sneijder had no trouble shooting the ball past goalkeeper Terol. Ajax should have doubled the margin when Nigel de Jong, who had just come on, was alone before an empty goal, but he fired it high and wide.

In the 90th minute, Ryan Babel, who had come on for Mitea, sealed the win. He took a long ball, went by a few defenders and shot it through the legs of the goalkeeper: 0-2.