The Ajax youngsters who were the sparring partner for the Dutch national team on Wednesday outdid themselves in the hour that the friendly lasted. A goal by Cedric van der Gun and a sudden equaliser by Giovanni van Bronckhorst made it 1-1. ,,It's a nice feeling not to close off the season with a loss", grinned Jussi Kujala.
Ajax, who started in an improvised line up, showed no trace of nerves against Holland. Timmer was on goal, Kujala right back, A-junior Jerold Promes was the central defender and Valencia left back. Obodai, Witschge, Maxwell and Pienaar formed the midfield and Van der Meyde, Boukhari and Van der Gun played up front. ,,I was a bit nervous, Jerold Promes admitted afterwards. That was not so strange. His opponents were Ruud van Nistelrooy and Patrick Kluivert.
Holland, with Ajax player Rafael van der Vaart playing against his club team, were preparing for the qualifying match against Belarus on Saturday. With the important match only days away, the Dutch team understandably did not play at full power in the hot Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam. Still, the mostly young Ajax players left a good impression.
After a goalless first half, in which Holland were the lesser of the both teams, both coaches made four substitutes. Holland's pace went up a bit, but Ajax were ever dangerous. Cedric van der Gun opened the score went he went by Van der Sar after a good through pass by Van der Meyde. A minute later, Giovanni van Bronckhorst levelled the score with a surprising shot from distance.
Holland - Ajax 1-1 (0-0) (2x30 min). 39. Van der Gun 0-1, 40. Van Bronckhorst 1-1.
Oranje: Van der Sar, Reiziger (31. Bosvelt), Stam, F. de Boer (31. Ooijer), Van Bronckhorst, Van Bommel (39. R. de Boer), Seedorf (31. Overmars), Van der Vaart, Van Nistelrooy (39. Van Hooijdonk), Kluivert (31. Makaay), Zenden.
Ajax; Timmer (31. Zwinkels), Kujala, Promes (31. Vermaelen), Valencia, Obodai, Witschge, Maxwell, Pienaar (31. Akachar), Van der Gun, Boukhari (31. Seedorf), Van der Meyde.