On Thursday evening, Ajax tied its first Florida Cup game, 2-2. Flamego got a bonus point by winning the penalty kicks. Joël Veltman and Lisandro Magallán both missed from twelve yards out. Erik ten Hag’s team thus earned one point from the game.
Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Zakaria Labyad scored the goals for Ajax. In addition to that, Magallán, Lassina Traoré and Victor Jensen all made their unofficial debut, and Veltman returned after a long absence due to his injury. On Saturyday, Ajax will play its second game in the Florida Cup, against São Paulo.
In this first game of the calendar year, Ten Hag gave some players the opportunity to get noticed by him. Most of the regular players were in the stands, to focus on Saturday’s game against São Paolo. Players who generally get less playing time with the first team were given the opportunity to play now.
The first half was very open, although the first minutes were somewhat flat. When the game was finally ignited, opportunities came rapidly. In the 16th minute, Ajax struck first, via Huntelaar. The striker received a pass from Vaclav Cerny, and pulled the trigger.
Quick reply from Flamengo
Ajax was unable to enjoy the lead for long; three minutes later, the game was tied. Uribe made this through the heart of the Amsterdam team’s defense and made good, 1-1. After that, the Brazilians were dangerous two more times, but nothing came of it.
Ajax was temporarily flustered by the tying goal, but recovered quickly. The threatening Cerny tested the fists of Diego Alves, who would eventually relinquish another goal. A great indoor football attack around the enemy’s box was finished off by Labyad. Ajax wanted to push on immediately, but shots by Rasmus Kristensen (just wide) and Cerny (saved by the keeper) didn’t produce any goals.
So it was disappointing when the 2-2 goal was scored just before the break. Kostas Lamprou was able to save a shot by Diego, but didn’t manage to get it under control. Uribe took advantage of the rebound and scored his second goal of the afternoon.
In the second half, Ajax went hunting for the winning goal. It was one-way traffic in the direction of the goal of Diego Alves, who was outstanding on this afternoon. The keeper saved a long distance shot by Labyad (2) and Jurgen Ekkelenkamp. The latter had a huge opportunity 12 minutes before time to score the 3-2 goal, but Alves was once again outstanding with his quick reflexes to make the save.
In the end it went to penalty kicks, and Ajax underperformed. Flamengo made good on all 4 penalties, and Veltman and Magallán both missed their for Ajax.
Ajax - Flamengo 2-2 (2-2) Flamengo w.n.s. 16. Huntelaar 1-0, 19. Uribe 1-1, 34. Labyad 2-1, 43. Uribe 2-2.
Line up Ajax: Lamprou, Kristensen, Schuurs (46. Veltman), Magallán, Sinkgraven (76. Bakker), Eiting (88. Jensen), Gravenberch (61. De Wit), Labyad, Neres (61. Ekkelenkamp), Huntelaar (46. Traoré), Cerny (76. Lang)