Finally, Ajax recorded it’s first official win of the season. In the ArenA, FC Groningen were beaten quite comfortably with veteran Huntelaar up front and a well-ticking midfield of Ziyech, De Jong and Van de Beek. But there’s wasn’t just football in the Eredivisie, as this weekend the Jupiler League had it’s own start.
Jong Ajax featured in their opening game of the season against Cambuur, playing away in Leeuwarden. Due to last year’s successful generation being promoted to the senior squad, first-time manager Michael Reiziger had a squad full of youngsters from last year’s Under 19’s. Newly acquired Norwegian winger Dennis Johnsen was the starting left winger, whilst Muric returned on loan from Pescara on the right and Cassierra led the line.
The young Ajacieden started out well against Cambuur, not drowning in the furious battles fought out in midfield and competing with the home side quite nicely. It even got to draw first blood, when Darren Sidoel rushed forward down the right flank and launched a piledriver straight at Bertrams. With the goalie completely missing the ball, it resulted in the 0-1. Moment later, Cassierra tapped a ball at Bertrams’ goal from a corner kick and the crowd saw Bertrams working it into his own net. 0-2.
New man Dennis Johnsen had an impressive debut, displaying his dribbling skills and continuously making dangerous runs down the left. He nearly gifted Ajax a third goal in the second half, were it not for him to shoot it just wide. Some minute before that, Cambuur had clawed it’s way back into the game by a header from Steenvoorden. In the game’s final minutes, as frustration took hold of Cambuur’s players, Melvin Peersman lost his head and tried to injure Cassierra with a scandalous kick. He was rightly sent off with a straight red, leaving Marinus Dijkhuisen with 10 men and a 1-2 loss against Reiziger’s side.
Elsewhere, to be precise in Heerenveen, John Heitinga lived his managerial debut with the Under 19’s. The former defender is this year’s new manager, after spending a year as an assistant at Jong Ajax under Keizer. The Under 19’s faced off against Rosenborg, not an unfamiliar opponent, at a youth tourney.
The first half began quietly, with Ajax creating a few chances but nothing special. Despite having the better of play, Ajax did go into half time with a 0-1 deficit, as Rosenborg had managed to score. In the second half, we saw a completely different game though. After a full-squad substitution by Heitinga, with only De La Vega remaining, Sebastian Pasquali was the shining star for the Godenzonen. The Austrialian assisted the first goal by Botman and was responsible for the 2-1 with a beautiful long range shot.