Ajax twice took the lead in the away match against PSV, but in the end were left empty-handed in the Philips Stadium. The team from Eindhoven won the exciting match by 4-3.
The match could not have started better for coach Martin Jol's team. Luis Suarez got the ball after an error by PSV's goalkeeper Isaksson and the forward put it away from a difficult angle: 0-1. The captain could have done his team another big favour ten minutes later when he ran one-on-one at Isaksson. Suarez chose to finish with a lob where a straight-forward strike would probably have been better. ,,It was one of the crucial moments of the afternoon’’, Martin Jol said. ,,Luis tried a lob, but he should have put it in the back of the net.’’
The match was lively throughout, with plenty of chances for both sides. PSV equalised after 37 minutes through a thunderous strike by Balázs Dzsudzsák. But Ajax regained the lead two minutes later when Suarez scored again.
The second half began badly for Ajax. Otman Bakkal scored from close range in the 50th minute. And again the fans did not hve to wait long for more goals. First Dzsudzsák curled in a free kick (3-2) and a few minutes later it was Urby Emanuelson's turn to score with a powerful strike: 3-3.
The game could have gone both ways in the final thirty minutes. Toby Alderweireld headed the ball onto the bar and contact between Suarez and André Ooijer in the PSV box was not worthy of a penalty, according to referee Pieter Vink. Jol: ,,If it was a dive, it would have been a yellow card.’’ The referee gave neither a penalty nor a card.
Otman Bakkal sealed Ajax's fate fifteen minutes before he end. He freed himself from Rob Wielaert with a clever little push and scored. Substitutes Miralem Sulejmani (for Emanuelson) and Dario Cvitanich (for Rommedahl) brought new energy but no more goals for Ajax.
Thimothée Atouba made his début for Ajax in the losing effort. The left-back from Cameroon played the whole match.
,,We weren't on great form today’’, said Jol. ,,PSV struck at the moments we thought we had the game under control. We could not hide our vulnerabilities. After the 4-3 it was all-or-nothing for us and PSV could have scored two or three more goals.’’