Ajax gets another big tick in title race after point in Deventer
Watch the summary of Go Ahead Eagles – Ajax
After losing the Klassieker two weeks ago, Ajax suffered another blow. On a visit to Go Ahead Eagles, it stuck to a 0-0 draw, allowing leaders Feyenoord to increase the gap to eight points later today.
Coach John Heitinga surprised with a starting place for left back Youri Baas, who started for the first time in the Eredivisie for the Amsterdammers. That was at the expense, among others, of Owen Wijndal, who Heitinga has not yet sufficiently convinced, the coach indicated beforehand.
Striker Brian Brobbey also got his chance in the starting lineup, moving Dusan Tadic back to the left side. Mohammed Kudus completed the attack, as Steven Bergwijn was deemed not fit enough to play an entire game.
Ajax had the first opportunity in the opening stages, but Davy Klaassen saw his effort go wide of the goal via Jay Idzes. Go Ahead Eagles, unbeaten for three games against the Amsterdammers since promotion in 2021, could have opened the scoring after 15 minutes.
Ajax’s ball loss in midfield seemed to be punished on the switch by Finn Stokkers, who was served by attacking partner Isac Lidberg. Goalkeeper Gerónimo Rulli prevented a goal and saw Philippe Rommens’ rebound go wide.
Brobbey then made his presence felt. First he popped over via goalkeeper Jeffrey de Lange with his left. A few minutes later De Lange was the winner again, after an attempt by Brobbey on the turn. Go Ahead Eagles forgot to shield the pass line to the striker.
Ajax seemed to take the lead after more than half an hour. Kudus headed in a hit on a Steven Berghuis pass, but the flag went up for offside. It looked like millimeter work, and after a check by VAR, which could not draw a clear offside line, the referee’s decision stood.
Watch Dusan Tadic and John Heitinga’s views on Kudus’ disallowed goal below.
Go Ahead Eagles then made themselves heard again, failing to play out a 2-on-1 situation on a breakaway just before halftime. Bobby Adekanye forgot to put Stokkers in position, after which Edson Álvarez was able to defuse the Deventer attack.
Even after the break, Ajax did have more ball possession, but there was hardly any clear difference in level. Heitinga could not possibly be satisfied with his team’s performance and brought on Wijndal and Bergwijn for Baas and Brobbey midway through the second half.
Shortly after, Go Ahead goalkeeper De Lange had to come into action on a Klaassen effort. Ajax then tried to squeeze out a final offensive. However, Deventen, with substitute Bas Kuipers returning from injury, held on fairly easily, which means Ajax are now level on points with PSV in the league table.
The championship seems even further out of sight due to the draw and second place, and thus a spot in the preliminary rounds of the Champions League, is now even at stake.
On Wednesday the Klassieker is on the program once again, this time in the semifinals of the KNVB Cup. In Rotterdam, Ajax will have to perform much better than in recent weeks. Otherwise the season threatens to go out like a candle.