Friday, August 05, 2005

Ajax over PSV Eindhoven in opening season cup

The Dutch equivalent of England's Community Shield, the Johan Cruijff Schaal, saw Ajax Amsterdam overcome a goal deficit and see off last years best Eredivisie team, PSV Eindhoven.

Eindhoven, without Mark van Bommel and JS Park to transfers, held their nerve in midfield and just after the half popped in a fluke Wilfred Bouma goal.

It was Ajax’s match on their home ground from that moment on. PSV started to break down and gave Ajax too much space in midfield.

Hedwiges Maduro, after playing in central defense against Arsenal, was back in his defensive stopper role and looked great. He had 3 great chances go just wide and looks more and more impressive every match. Arsenal have Vieira’s replacement right here.

The pressure and chances kept increasing and eventually a foul was converted into a 70th minute goal from a well placed free kick by Nourdin Boukhari, man of the match by me.

After a spate of great chances, including a dubious disallowed goal thru offside by Nigel de Jong, Ajax struck again via Ryan Babel, who otherwise was erratic. De Jong showed trickery without losing the ball and linked up play very nicely. It was his pass that opened up Boukhari's assist in the Ajax winner and I was in general impressed with the playmaker.

PSV have work to do this season. They lost a large portion of their squad to transfers this summer and the team still looks unsteady. Ajax on the other hand played better than I expected and showed promise.
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