Jong Ajax again fails to hold on to the lead and plays a draw at Jong AZ

Jong Ajax has closed the period before the World Cup with a draw at Jong AZ. The Amsterdam promises took the lead in a disadvantaged first half via a buck from Christian Rasmussen. Despite several Alkmaar chances, John Heitinga’s team held on for a long time in the second half, but a converted penalty kick from Damienus Reverson determined the final score at 1-1.

Despite a lack of chances, the pace was very high in the opening phase. That was mainly the merit of Jong Ajax, who dominated possession and put fierce pressure on AZ’s peers when they lost the ball. There, the Alkmaar promises often played well in their own half, so that pressure resulted in little goal danger. Further down the field, however, the home team barely managed to keep the ball. This created a first fifteen minutes in which the game largely played out in the half of Young AZ without any chances.

During the first half the pressure of Jong Ajax decreased somewhat and Jong AZ got into the game a bit better. It resulted in two half chances after 23 minutes. First Iman gave Griffith a dangerous cross, but Olivier Aertssen managed to clear the ball from the box before Tom de Graaff had to be put to work. The latter seemed to happen from the subsequent corner, when the ball got stuck in the five meters of Jong Ajax and an Alkmaar foot worked the leatherwork towards the Amsterdam goal. However, that only half succeeded, so that De Graaff also saw a teammate intervene here.

The first real chance of the match came from Kian Fitz-Jim. Attacks that continued to sixteen were a rarity in the first half, but after more than half an hour Jong Ajax finally succeeded. Fitz-Jim was on the edge of the terminus, but his left attempt swung half a meter over the intersection. A bloodless first half therefore seemed imminent, but that was not counted for a moment of Rasmussen’s individual class. The Dane pulled in from the right shortly before half-time, shot the ball with a devastating left into the far corner, behind the hopeless Westerveld and thus assured his team of a lead at half-time.

Knowing that it had to score, Jong AZ put higher and fiercer pressure in the second half. Young Ajax, in turn, did not panic yet and at the same time was given more space in the enemy half. This created more chances for the visitors. For example for Fitz-Jim, who saw a new shot with his left hand fairly easily clamped by Santer Westerveld, and for substitute Gabriel Misehouy, who was sent off by Kristian Hlynsson, but just didn’t get to the ball in time to pass Westerveld, who had come out, and to score.

Shortly after the hour, chances suddenly arose for both goals. Especially Soulyman Allouch will have scratched his head afterwards. The winger had two good chances, the second of which certainly should have been a hit. His first shot from the edge of sixteen could have been better, because despite the fact that the ball did go to the corner, there was not enough power behind it to make it really difficult for De Graaff.

The same De Graaff, however, misjudged a cross from Robin Lathouwers a minute later. When the ball landed at Allouch’s feet a few meters from goal, the 1-1 seemed like a formality. However, De Graaff saw to his relief that the ball hit the crossbar and his mistake went unpunished. In the switch, the ball came to Rasmussen very quickly via Sontje Hansen. The Dane pulled in again, but this time opted for the short corner. This attempt, however, turned out to be significantly less accurate and flew half a meter wide.

Young AZ, however, started to draw the game more and more, that much was clear. Griffith also contributed in that respect. With a fine piece of footwork, he stayed on the ball with several opponents in the area and took on the one-two. His attempt from close range then seemed destined to result in a goal, but De Graaff thought otherwise and kept the ball out of the goal with a characteristic reflex.

Eventually the 1-1 would fall anyway. Finn Stam was cold in the field when he was knocked down by Donny Warmerdam. The referee pointed to the spot and Reverson sent De Graaff the wrong way.

This created a hectic final phase, in which both teams came close to winning. On behalf of Young AZ, Stam seemed to have made it for a moment, when his shot that had changed direction seemed to fall in. However, that turned out to be an optical illusion. On the other side, Misehouy, Banel, and Fitz-Jim were still close by. The former, however, encountered Westerveld, while Fitz-Jim’s distance blast sailed past the intersection.

Young AZ line-up:

Westerveld; Van Aken (Stam 80′), Goes, Engel (Addai 80′), Lathouwers; Evjen (Schouten 46′), De Jong, Neighbor; Griffith, Meerdink (Reverson 62′), Allouch.

Substitutions Young AZ:

Deen, Postma, Stam, Twisk, Addai, Reverson, Pavlidis, Schouten, Kewal, Poku.

Young Ajax line-up:

DeGraff; Gooijer, Aertssen, Warmerdam, Hato; Vos (Misehouy 46′), Reign, Fitz-Jim; Rasmussen, Hansen, Hlynsson.

Substitutions Young Ajax:

Kremers, Misehouy, Giovanni, Banel, Martha, Kjaer, Van Bohemen, Sarfo.


0-1 Christian Rasmussen (41′)
1-1 Damienus Reverson (82′ pen.)

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