Ajax's first presentation to the home crowd went by without goals. The match against Liverpool in the Amsterdam Tournament could have had many goals, but neither side was lucky when finishing: 0-0.
Coach Ronald Koeman was reasonably satisfied with what he saw Friday evening. ,,The only negative aspect of this match was that we did not score.''
Rafael van der Vaart came close a few times. But after freeing himself beautifully, he could not shoot the ball past goalkeeper Dudek on several occasions.
On the other side Maarten Stekelenburg, the goalkeeper who had been absent for many months due to an injury, had little to do save the last period of the match. To his delight he kept a clean slate, also thanks to new defender Julien Escudé, who left a fine impression against the strong English side.
Wesley Sonck needed time to find his rhythm with his new team. But the Belgian striker grew in the match and almost put his team ahead shortly before time with a georgeous header from distance. It hit the crossbar and Petri Pasanen was too surprised to put in the rebound from up close.
Ajax almost won it in the end, when Jari Litmanen's volley just missed. Ajax now have to beat Internazionale by at least two goals on Sunday to stay in the running for first place in the prestigious tournament.