AMSTERDAM — After two days of training and attending the Ajax-Real Madrid Champions League match at Amsterdam Arena, the Generation adidas team played their first match of their Netherlands trip on Thursday and came up just a little short. A pair of late goals gave the Ajax reserve side a 4-2 victory over the visiting MLSers.
The game was played in two 30-minute halves, and the GA squad controlled most of the first one. Just three minutes in, Philadelphia's Danny Mwanga was brought down at the edge of the penalty area. On the ensuing free kick, Columbus midfielder Dilly Duka drove a low shot that froze Ajax goalkeeper Warner Hahn and beat him at the far post.
The remainder of the first half was a midfield battle as both teams seem to cancel each other out and both defenses held steady. Ajax, whose starting lineup included first-team players Mats Rits, Thulani Serero and Aras Ozbiliz, could manage only one shot in the first half, a Dico Koppers blast from 25 yards that bounced off the base of the goalpost.
The Dutch side came out with more energy after the break. They evened the score two minutes into the second half, when Ozbiliz pounced on a loose ball inside the GA penalty area and calmly put the ball beyond the reach of Philadelphia goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
Ozbiliz continued menacing the GA defense, and three minutes later his long run on the right side paid divedends again. Ozbiliz's cross found Yener Arica unmarked at the back post, and the 19-year-old slotted the ball to the back of the net.
Down a goal now, the GA team replied quickly. Just one minute later, Vancouver's Omar Salgado forced a turnover at midfield and dashed off on a mazy run past six defenders. He eventually lost possessions, but New York's Corey Herzog was there to blast the loose ball with a 20-yard one-timer that beat Hahn at the near post.
The pace quickened in the last 15 minutes of the game, with both teams finding space and chances being created at both ends of the field. The Dutch side took the lead once again in the 57th minute when a corner kick taken by Ricardo Kip sailed over MacMath to a wide open Joel Veldman, who headed the ball from three yards.
Ajax added an icer in the last minute of the game as a clearing attempt by New York's Sacir Hot bounced off an Dutch player into the path of Tom Boere who found himself all alone in front of the GA goal and his drive found the corner of the goal.
The GA squad will continue daily training sessions at the Ajax facility before their next match on Tuesday, December 13, against Volendam.
Ajax: 1-Warren Hahn, 2-Ruben Ligeon, 3-Ricardo van Rhijn, 4-Yener Arica, 5-Dico Koppers, 6-Mats Rits, 7-Jodi Lukoki (20-Joel Veldman 45’), 8- Ricardo Kip, 9-Tom Boere, 10-Thulani Serero, 11-Aras Ozbiliz
Generation adidas: 2-Zac MacMath, 8-Kofi Sarkodie, 4-Sacir Hot, 6-Zarek Valentin, 14-Michael Tetteh, 22-Amobi Okugo, 12-Kevin Alston (15-Matt Kassel 49’), 11-Dilly Duka, 5-Luis Gil (10-Corey Hertzog 44’), 9- Jack McInerney (17-Omar Salgado 40’), 20-Danny Mwanga (18-Will Bruin 35’)
Subs not used- 1-David Bingham, 23-Conor Shanosky
Shots: Ajax - 5 GA - 4
Fouls: Ajax - 7 GA - 9
Corners: Ajax - 5 GA - 1
Offside: Ajax - 1 GA - 4
Cautions: Ajax - 1 (van Rhijn 60’) GA - 1 (Salgado 60’)
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