Ajax won the first edition of the AEGON Future Cup on Monday. Robin Pronk’s team beat China U-17 1-0 thanks to Terell Ondaan’s goal, in the final at the Toekomst Sports Complex. Bayern München ended the tournament in third place after their 2-0 win against losing semi finalist AC Milan.
The win against China U-17 was a fitting end to a perfect tournament for Ajax. In the final, the B1 juniors kept a clean sheet, although the Chinese team were tougher than they had been the previous day’s pool match, when Ajax beat them 4-0. The Chinese youth team, which was the only national team participating, was a worthy final opponent.
Ajax reached the final on Monday morning, after beating AC Milan. Two goals from Davy Klaassen and one from Terell Ondaan lifted Ajax to a 3-0 win early in the day. China was the surprise winner of the other semi-final, defeating Bayern München 1-0.
Both keepers played a key role during the final, which was broadcast live by local network AT5. Both Ajax keeper Peter Leeuwenburgh and his Chinese counterpart Zou Dehai defended their goals with gusto. Before the break, Klaassen (fine combination with Rowendey Schoop) and captain Ouasim Bouy (header and overhead kick) both had good opportunities, but the Chinese keeper was always there.
Midway through the second half, Terell Ondaan broke the spell in the fully packed Toekomst Sports Complex. The forward scored on a pass from Lesley de Sa, putting it in by the second post. With a shot in the short corner, he had found the right way to get past the great Chinese wall: 1-0. Ajax didn’t let go of their lead. Thanks in part to the fine performance of keeper Leeuwenburgh, Ajax crossed the finish line with a 1-0 score.
“It’s fantastic to win such a big youth tournament, with such great clubs playing such amazing football”, said an enthusiastic Leeuwenburgh afterwards. The keeper kept a clean sheet for the whole tournament, and saw his team score eleven goals in five games. “We were compact. We kept a clean sheet thanks to our tight defence and strong midfielders. It’s thanks to the whole team. But it’s always nice when you can be important for the team”, he said about his clean sheet.
Robin Pronk was also pleased with the tournament title. Ajax B1’s coach had a ‘great feeling’ about the first edition of the AEGON Future Cup. “If you win all of the matches, with so many scored goals and none against, it’s fantastic. This has been a perfect tournament for us in every way.”