Goodbye Jaap Stam

Goodbye Jaap Stam

Ajax drew with Team Jaap Stam in a testimonial for the great defender on Saturday. Donovan Slijngard brought Ajax level in the closing minutes: 3-3.

Vito Wormgoor against one of his idols Jaap Stam in the second half of the testimonial.

Jaap Stam pllayed with Ajax in the first half, that was shortened due to a thunderstorm over the stadium in Zwolle. Stam, still powerful and imposing, showed why he was one of the great defenders of his generation. When he joined his own all-star team in the second half, he again led by example, getting in some fierce challenges on, among others, leonardo.

Team Jaap Stam reached the early halftime whistle with a 1-0 lead through a goal by Philip Cocu. Klaas Jan Huntelaar made his first minutes for Ajax since coming back form EURO 2008. He played with Dario Cvitanich. Both players did not return after halftime. Referee Dick Jol had no choice but to stop the match after half an hour due to the weather.

When the teams could return to the pitch, the second half began. Stam joined the other team and Marco van Basten fielded eleven new players for Ajax. Team Jaap Stam extended its lead to 3-0. Former Ajax player Marc Overmars and again Cocu scored the goals. The young but eager Ajax team proved to be resilient. Dennis Rommedahl and Leonardo brought Ajax back.

Mitchell Donald gave off his calling card in the second half. The midfielder came close to scoring on several occasions. Stam appreciated the skills of his former team mate. The defender gave Donald a fatherly pat on the back after a missed chance. It illustrated the great atmosphere in the Zwolle stadium on Saturday.

Donovan Slijngard fired the ball in the back of the net in the closing stages, bringing the teams level at the end of the match: 3-3. But everyone agreed that Stam came off the pitch the winner of the evening.

Ajax first half:
Gentenaar; Ogararu, Stam, Van der Wiel, Schilder; Gabri, Cvitanich, Sarpong; Kennedy, Huntelaar and Suarez.

Second half:
Padt; Ogararu, Wormgoor, Anita, Slijngard; Donald, Perez, De Jong; Martina, Leonardo and Rommedahl.