Match of the Week: Ajax 1, Vitesse 2

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Eredivisie logoIt has been a rough start to the 2017-18 Eredivisie season for Ajax. The perennial champion of the Netherlands is in seventh place in the league table.

Ajax needed to get a positive result against rising-side Vitesse. Playing at home in front more than 50,000 fans at the Amsterdam Arena, however, wasn’t enough.

The match began in Ajax’s favor, as it maintained possession and tested Vitesse’s keeper.

It wasn’t until the 20th minute thjat Vitesse began to build an attack. A mistake in the back by Ajax led to Milot Raschica stealing the ball. As he dribbled across the top of the box, Donny van de Beek tripped Raschica, and earned the match’s first yellow card, in the 21st minute.

The resulting free kick led to an open header at the back post for Guram Kashia who fired it into the top left of Ajax’s goal past Andre Onana.

As the game progressed, Ajax became frustrated and out of sync. Crosses were going well over receivers’ heads while passes did not connect in the front third.

Vitesse added another goal in first-half added time. An Ajax mistake in its own half led to a quick fast break. Rashica received the ball at the half field and dribbled into his opposition’s box. He took one cut inside and laced a shot into the bottom right corner of the goal.

The second half was more of the same. Ajax retained most of the possession but couldn’t convert. Vitesse sat back and allowed build up play, hoping for an Ajax mistake that they could pounce on and turn into a fast break opportunity.

It wasn’t until the 83rd minute that Ajax answered with a goal.

Miscommunication on a corner kick led to no one clearing the ball out of Vitesse’s box. This failed attempt led to the ball bouncing freely to Nick Viergever, who simply tapped it in.

The game took off soon after with both sides full of energy., Ajax was unable to do enough and saw the game end without a tying goal.