A first-half goal by Tom Caluwé threw Ajax out of the Amstel Cup against Willem II. The team from Amsterdam created chance after chance in the latter stages of the match, but failed to score even once. ,,Very disappointing'', Danny Blind said after the match.
Early on, John Heitinga played just like Trabelsi and came forward again and again, crossing the ball each time. But either the cross lacked precision or there was no Ajax player to be found before the goal. And it didn't only happen when Heitinga tried to cross, Pienaar and Mitea did not deliver either ,,We have to convert chances one and two, not four or five, Blind explained. ,,If you make them you get more room and it's not so diffiicult.
And it became difficult for Ajax. Willem II gave it their all. With a win, they would not only compete for the cup, but also be assured of European football, as the losing cup-finalist would automatically qualify because PSV are going to win the title and play in the Champions League.
A few minutes before halftime, Jatto Ceesay provided the cross and Tom Caluwé was all alone at the second post to give his team the lead: 1-0.
Minutes later, Ajax received another blow. Maxwell suffered an injury after a (fair) challenge by Wau. The Brazilian had to be carried off on a stretcher and was in considerable pain.
Ajax created chance after chance in the second half in the race for the equaliser. Angelos Charisteas, who had just come on, headed it on goal from close range but saw his effort stopped by Moens. Steven Pienaar received the rebound, but his weak attempt was headed off the line by Frank van der Struijk. A bit later, Nicolae Mitea was there to convert the rebound, but his shot hit the crossbar.
Time was ticking away and Ajax's hopes were slowly disappearing. ,,The priority for the rest of the season is on getting to the Champions League'', Blind said ,,After two good matches against AZ and Feyenoord, I don't see this loss as a setback, because we played well.''