After a part of the selection had played to a draw earlier in the day against KRC Genk, a second friendly match was on the agenda for Ajax that afternoon. This way, each player received the playing time necessary to become fit enough for the Champions League third round qualifying match against OGC Nice. The team defeated PAOK from Greece by 4-2.
After a difficult week with so much uncertainty around Abdelhak Nouri, his counterparts needed to build up some match rhythm. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was the captain of an otherwise very young Ajax team.
After just five minutes, Noussar Mazraoui scored the opening goal on the Toekomst’s training field. The midfielder shot the ball from far outside the box perfectly into the goal, via the bottom of the crossbar. A few minutes later, Vaclav Cerny made a combination with Huntelaar, after which the Czech shot just a fraction wide. A bit later, Huntelaar himself was successful, when, after a Frenkie de Jong corner, he sent a hard shot against the ropes.
After half an hour of play, the driven Cerny was hauled down in the box. Referee Higler placed the ball on the spot, but Huntelaar missed. Not even a minute later, the ball was behind Stan van Bladeren, on the opposite side of the field. This was PAOK’s first opportunity, and Fernando Varela made good on it, 2-1.
In the second half, Noa Lang and Darren Sidoel replaced Cerny and Dankerlui. Six minutes after coming in, they saw the Greek team pull even with a beautiful header scored by Aleksandar Prijovic. Frenkie de Jong was substituted by Dani de Wit after an hour. The latter has recently been active for the Dutch national team at the U19 European Championships.
Mateo Cassierra created danger in the second half. A good play by the left winger ended in a precise shot into the left corner, 3-2. When Danilho Doekhi, Boy Kemper, Azor Matusiwa, Zian Flemming, Reda Boultam and Mees de Wit came in fifteen minutes before time, Flemming – after having hit the PAOK post earlier on – decided the game two minutes before the end, 4-2.
Score summary: 5. Mazraoui 1-0, 26. Huntelaar 2-0, 38. Varela 2-1, 51. Prijovic 2-2, 66. Cassierra 3-2, 88. Flemming 4-2
Line-up Ajax: Van Bladeren, Zeefuik, Bergsma, Savastano, Dankerlui, Eiting, De Jong, Mazraoui, Cerny, Huntelaar, Cassierra
Line-up PAOK: Rey, Cruz, Leovac, Prijovic, Henrique, Crespo, Cimirot, Biseswar, Mak, Varela, Canas.
More news: Ajax ties closed friendly 3-3