Ajax loses to Twente and finishes outside top-2 for first time since 2009

Ajax loses to Twente and finishes outside top-2 for first time since 2009

NOS Football

Watch the summary of FC Twente – Ajax

Ajax will not compete in the Champions League next season. The Amsterdammers had to win against FC Twente and hope for a misstep by PSV. That first mission already failed, as the Tukkers were too strong 3-1 in Enschede.

The disaster season for Ajax, both sporting and managerial, thus received a fitting conclusion. The Amsterdammers finished outside the top-2 in the premier league for the first time since 2009 and are condemned to the Europa League playoffs next season.

The final standings of the 2022/23 premier league

Still, things could have been worse, as AZ came very close to a win over PSV, which would have put Ajax in the preliminary round of the Conference League next season. A doomsday scenario for general manager Edwin van der Sar, who said in 2021 that he would resign then. However, it did not come to that.

Ajax prepared for a difficult afternoon in Enschede, as FC Twente was still unbeaten at home this season. The Tukkers lived up to that unapproachable home status in the opening stages.

FC Twente put the Amsterdammers under constant pressure and Manfred Ugalde (Rulli save) and Michal Sadilek (crossbar) were very close to the opening goal in the first twenty minutes. Ajax dealt some pinpricks at the other end, but no more than that.

Yet after half an hour Ajax took the lead against the odds. Kenneth Taylor played the ball in tightly to striker Brian Brobbey, who in turn served Dusan Tadic. The captain rounded with a controlled ball.

Lousy start Ajax

The operations on the other field, at AZ-PSV, were followed with great interest and perhaps that is why Ajax was not sharp at the beginning of the second half. What’s hot. After 20 seconds, first Taylor and then Edson Álvarez fouled badly and Manfred Ugalde made the equalizer with his head.

Watch interviews with Ajax coach John Heitinga on his future and FC Twente coach Ron Jans, who went down at his farewell, below.

Five minutes later, FC Twente even took the lead. This time it was Julio Pleguezuelo who was free to head in.

A quarter of an hour before time, former Ajax player Vaclav Cerny provided a brilliant final chord with a rock-hard blast, leaving Ajax and coach John Heitinga, whose future is not yet clear, disillusioned.

Kayleigh Williams