Consistent with the battle – ready atmosphere prior to the match, FC Twente – Ajax was a match with two faces, said Frank de Boer with mixed feelings about the draw (1-1) in the Grosch Veste. Despite a poor first half, the Amsterdam team could have done better. That duality gnawed at the Ajax coach afterwards.
“Twente started out very well, very intense”, said the Ajax coach in retrospect on the first half of the draw. “The fact that we had no calmness in our play was partly due to the home team’s hunger. We were sloppy and imprecise.”
De Boer saw Ajax pick up somewhat after Jesús Gabriel Corona’s opening goal (1-0 after seventeen minutes). The percentage of Amsterdam possession increased somewhat; the Ajax players, however, didn’t leave their sloppiness behind. Balls were lost just as easily as they were gained. “Before the break, we didn’t do much with our ball possession”, continued De Boer in the press room of the Grolsch Veste. “That led to too much unnecessary loss of possession, which is what I told the guys.”
A better second half followed. Ajax regained control. Suddenly, the home team was under pressure. De Boer: “It was a world of difference. For example, our passing was much better. That’s how we came into the match. You felt that it was just a matter of time before the tying goal would be scored.” While Arek Milik stood at the ready to replace him, Kolbeinn Sigthórsson tied the game for his team. “Sometimes you need to be lucky with the substitution.”
No more goals would be scored in front of the 30.000 full Grolsch Veste. FC Twente – Ajax thus remained without a winner. “We showed what we can do in the second half”, said De Boer. “Despite the fact that I can live with this tie, I still have the feeling that Ajax lost two points today.”