For the first time in 4 years, Ajax has made it past the winter break in the cup tournament. After the cup match at Roda JC had ended in a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes, Ajax prevailed in penalty kicks: 2-4. They have thus earned a spot in the quarter finals of the tournament at the expense of the number 5 ranked team of the Keuken Kampioen Division.
Compared to the 8-0 win against De Graafschap, Erik ten Hag changed his team in 8 positions. Only Daley Blind, Frenkie de Jong and Dusan Tadic were at kick-off, as they had been on Sunday. Carel Eiting returned to the squad after having been out with an ankle injury.
Penalties in the first half
After Ajax had had its first opportunity via Dusan Tadic, it hit the mark in the 13th minute. After a foul by Richard Jensen, who held on to Klaas Jan Huntelaar in the penalty kick area, the Serbian player took a shot from twelve yards out. The captain for this occasion sent Limburg keeper Radomir Novakovic into the wrong corner: 0-1.
Roda JC sought the tying goal, and found it. Once again, referee Serdar Gözübüyük pointed to the spot, this time after a foul by Lamprou on Mario Engels. Michel Paulissen took full advantage of the opportunity and shot the ball right down the middle into the goal.
After the break, Ajax tried to return to the offense, but struggled with the home team’s tight defense. The Amsterdam team’s pace was too slow to create any trouble for Roda JC.
With Kasper Dolberg and Matthijs de Ligt coming in 20 minutes before time, Ten Hag was attempting to make something happen. The duo was immediately visible, and tried to create opportunities from a distance. Both shots were stopped by Novakovic. Despite a few minor opportunities in the final minutes, overtime ended up being necessary.
Play in overtime mirrored the second half. The home team retreated completely onto its own half and the Amsterdam team tried to find an opening. But the biggest opportunities of the first part of overtime were for the Limburg team, but fortunately Lamprou was in the right spot on both occasions.
In the second half of overtime, Dolberg had the chance to give Ajax the win, but a beautiful save by Novakovic prevented this from happening.
Just before the penalty kicks, Andre Onana was brought in for Lamprou. Thanks in part to the Cameroonian’s save of a penalty kick, Ajax prevailed in the end. Daley Blind scored the deciding penalty via the foot of the Limburg keeper: 2-4.