Ajax reaches cup final in hostile Kuip: eventful victory over Feyenoord

Ajax reaches cup final in hostile Kuip: eventful victory over Feyenoord
Ajax players celebrate Dusan Tadic’s 0-1.

NOS Football

Ajax has qualified for the final of the cup tournament after an extremely tumultuous duel with Feyenoord. The Amsterdammers won 2-1 at De Kuip, but the match will be remembered mainly for an incident in the 62nd minute.

Then Ajax midfielder Davy Klaassen, creator of the afterwards winning goal, got an object thrown from the stands on the back of his head. He bled profusely as a result, after which both teams (first Ajax, then Feyenoord) left the field.

The match was stopped for half an hour, but was eventually played out. In the meantime, police had arrested a man in the stands.

The third Klassieker of the season was also stopped after about twenty seconds, due to smoke caused by an out-of-control fireworks display by Feyenoord fans.

Once the thick black smoke blew out of the Kuip, both teams needed time to get into their game. As is often the case in high-voltage Classics matches, the ball was handed back and forth quickly, and there was not much in the way of organized play.

That didn’t mean there were no chances. Ajax was dangerous with a couple of nice short combinations, while Feyenoord got away with a long ball to Santiago Giménez on several occasions.

Feyenoord resilient

From one of those nice Ajax combinations, right-back Jorge Sánchez was set free. A poor cross from the Mexican was promoted to a good one by Feyenoorders Marcus Pedersen and Alireza Jahanbaksh.

That pair, in their eagerness to clear the ball, collided with each other, bringing it to the feet of Dusan Tadic, who coolly shot into the corner.

Yet Feyenoord did not get too upset by this. Slowly but surely, the Rotterdammers got into their game and Ajax was pushed further back.

On the sides, Quilindschy Hartman (left) and Jahanbaksh (right) came through more and more often. That yielded first an enormous chance for Jahanbaksh and shortly afterwards the deserved equalizer. Giménez was left completely free by the Ajax defense, after which he neatly headed in.

After halftime, Feyenoord seemed sharper, but it was still Ajax that took the lead again. Tadic poked Steven Bergwijn away, who pounced on Timon Wellenreuther. Then the German goalkeeper intervened once more in the rebound, but the third time it was a goal, when Klaassen volleyed the ball into the net.

Ajax holds firm

Moments later, the situation surrounding Klaassen’s head wound followed. When both teams were in the dressing rooms, Feyenoord’s assistant coach John de Wolf came onto the field to address the crowd – in flat and clear Rotterdam language.

After the game resumed, Feyenoord went all out to force the equalizer. Slot brought in four fresh forces in one change to turn the tide.

Gímenez’s header hit the post and almost did so in the final minutes. Taylor received a red card in the 95th minute. But eventually Ajax held on with ten men and the Amsterdammers will be back in De Kuip in May for the final against PSV.

Kayleigh Williams