The first friendly game between Olympique Lyon and Ajax has resulted in a tie. An Ajax combination team, with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar as the captain, split the points with Lyon’s reserves team: 2-2. Vaclav Cerny and Frenkie de Jong scored in the second half, wiping away a deficit. Five minutes before time, a tying goal for Lyon followed.
Later on Tuesday, a second friendly game will be played. Ajax’s likely squad will play against Lyon’s first team, a replay of the Europa League semi-final game from a few months ago. Ajax won that game.
Entertaining first half
At the Lyon training complex, Ajax had a tough time finding its rhythm. It wasn’t until the 41st minute that Ajax posed a threat, via Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, but the French keeper stood in his way.
Somewhat later, a goal was scored on the opposite side of the field. Centre forward Aldo Kalulu found his way through the Amsterdam defense, and didn’t falter when he appeared free before goalie Stan van Bladeren. The score could have increased further in the first half, but Alan Dzabana came up short on a sharp pass, and and opportunity for Kalulu was dismantled thanks to a brilliant defensive interception by Damil Dankerlui at the last moment.
Revival for Ajax
The pressure from the home team resumed in the second half. The Olympique Lyon Reserves seemed poised to take a 2-0 lead, but Van Bladeren made a feline save on a hard shot from nearby. An Ajax revival didn’t seem to be in the cards, but happened nonetheless. In the 53rd minute, Vaclav Cerny scored with a diagonal shot, and this goal gave Ajax the necessary confidence. From that moment, the guests took charge more and more in the game.
Ajax even took the lead ten minutes before time. Frenkie de Jong took possession after a mediocre Lyon build-up, he steamed ahead and scored beautifully: 1-2. Ajax was in the driver’s seat and, via Leon Bergsma, even had an opportunity to score another goal for Ajax. This, however, didn’t materialize, and left the door open for Lyon to pull even in the final minutes. The hard-working Kalulu shot a free kick into the goal from the edge of the box, setting the final score to 2-2.
Score summary: 42. Kalulu 1-0, 53. Cerny 1-1, 66. De Jong 1-2, 85. Kalulu 2-2
Line-up Ajax: Van Bladeren, Zeefuik (89. De Wit),, Bergsma, Savastano, Dankerlui, Eiting, Mazraoui, De Jong, Neres, Huntelaar, Cerny (59. Cassierra)