Ajax squeaks by Achilles

Ajax squeaks by Achilles

Ajax posted a narrow victory against Achilles ’29 in a friendly match. On the fields of SV De Lutte, Lesly de Sa and Tobias Sana gave Ajax the win in an otherwise lacklustre match.

Ajax’s first friendly match on Saturday was also a farewell to the training complex of SV De Lutte. The club, which had hosted Ajax wonderfully during the week, was the setting for a practice match against Jupiler League club Achilles ’29. The Amsterdam team won the duel, 1-2. Later on Saturday, another eleven Ajax players take on Real Sociedad in a friendly match in Hardenberg.

The eleven starting Ajax players against Achilles ’29 were led by captain Niklas Moisander. Next to the Fin was Jairo Riedewald in the defensive heart. Nicolai Boilesen and Kenny Tete were the wing defenders. Riechedly Bazoer was the starting midfield controller. Thulani Serero and number 10 Lucas Andersen were at the controller’s sides. The offensive trio consisted of striker Richairo Zivkovic and wing forwards Kolbeinn Sigthórsson (left) and Lesly de Sa. Norbert Alblas started in the goal. The slightly injured Kenneth Vermeer watched the entire game from the sidelines.

The match was preceded by a solemn minute of silence for the victims of the airplane crash in the Ukraine. All of the players and referees wore mourning bands in remembrance of the tragedy. Once the match was underway, Lesly de Sa scored the opening goal after seven minutes. The right winger was sent in deep by Lucas Andersen. De Sa rounded off with a good low shot: 0-1. It was one of the few highlights in a somewhat messy first half. Both De Sa’s finishing and the preparation by Andersen, who was one of the outstanding players on the Ajax side, were impressive.

Did the tropical weather conditions put lead in Ajax’s legs? Or had the intensive training week finally taken its toll on the Amsterdam team’s playing? Coach Frank de Boer made himself heard several times from the sidelines. The message was clear: pick up the pace. The Ajax players made a brave attempt and succeeded, via substitute Tobias Sana, to increase their lead after the break. The creative and lighting quick Andersen this time sent the ball beautifully across to Niklas Moisander, who had come up. The Fin ticked the ball to Sana, after which the Swede (who had replaced Kolbeinn Sigthórsson after halftime) shot in from close by: 0-2.

In the last quarter, which a dramatically altered team (only keeper Norbert Alblas and substitute Sana remained), it proved to be too difficult to increase the lead on the Jupiler League club further. The Amsterdam team tries to force opportunities, but the finishing left much to be desired. Lesly de Sa was – before the big substitution round – the closest to scoring, with a half header and a low shot. Achilles captain Hendriks had the final work in the steamy De Stockakker sports complex. The captain took advantage of blundering in the Ajax defense and passed Alblas: 1-2. After that, the Groesbeek team didn’t get near the Ajax goal much anymore. The Amsterdam victory wasn’t threatened anymore.

Directly after the goal, the substitutes sped to Hardenberg to sit on the bench for Ajax’s second performance on the same day. The tired squad players from the Achilles ’29 game sought a cool shower. Because the Ajax players who had already played the 75 minutes (as had been communicated) would return immediately to Amsterdam. Tired, but surely pleased.