Ajax win Cup after heroic fight

Ajax win Cup after heroic fight

Ajax needed more than 120 minutes, but the team defeated AZ after penalties to win the Dutch FA Cup. After overtime the score was 1-1 in Rotterdam.

AZ - Ajax was a match with hard challenges, some incidents and a nerve-wrecking finish.
With Jaap Stam back in the squad, Ajax were the better team in the opening stages of the match. Gabri and Davids had chances from distance, but after three minutes it was AZ who took the lead. Moussa Dembele saw Thomas Vermaelen slip and fired the ball past Maarten Stekelenburg in the back of the net.

Ajax were not discouraged and went into higher gear. But despite chances for both teams, the halftime score was still 1-0.

Ajax equalised quickly into the second half. Sneijder crossed to Klaas Jan Huntelaar, who was left all alone. The striker fired it in with authority: 1-1. After that goal, the teams went back and forth. Coaches Henk ten Cate and Louis van Gaal were not looking forward to overtime and brought on extra forwards. For AZ it was Danny Koevermans in het veld for Simon Cziommer and for Ajax Tom de Mul came on for Urby Emanuelson. The latter's substitution was also because Emanuelson was about to become a dad. The defender left the stadium and went quickly to the hospital.

Sneijder went off with cramp in the 87th minute. He was replaced by Kenneth Perez. Soon after, Gabri was sent off with a red card. After 95 minutes, regular time was over and the match went into overtime.

With eleven against ten, AZ had the most initiative in the two times fifteen minutes. Jenner, Koevermans and sub Nourdin Boukhari got the chances, but were not accurate enough. Ajax held their breath when Shota Arveladze headed the ball onto the cross bar in the last minute, but Henk ten Cate's team survived and the match went into penalties.

The first seven Az and Ajax players all made their penalty. Maarten Stekelenburg saved Ryan Donk's attempt and Edgar Davids then brought the decision by scoring his spot kick. Perez, Huntelaar, Thomas Vermaelen, Olaf Lindenbergh, John Heitinga, De Mul and George Ogararu signed for the first seven scores.