Ajax started the new calendar year on Saturday with a heavy practice defeat against Hannover 96. The team of coach John van ‘t Schip hardly created any chances and lost 3-0 to the 2. Bundesliga club.
- Rulli; Gaaei, Medic, Ávila, Martha; Kaplan, Salah-Eddine, Misehouy; Forbs, Akpom en Van Axel Dongen.
Ajax started 2024 as it ended 2023. In the first match since the cup disgrace against Hercules, Hannover 96, the number eight of the 2. Bundesliga, scored after just five minutes. Julian Börner scored the ball after poor defending.
In the following minutes, the recovered goalkeeper Gerónimo Rulli repeatedly prevented the deficit in Cádiz, Spain from increasing further. The Ajax attack with Carlos Forbs, Chuba Akpom and Amourricho from Axel Dongen offered virtually nothing in return.
Even after the break, it remained one-way traffic and Hannover 96 still increased the margin. Defender Anton Gaaei and Rulli were easily defeated twice within five minutes. Havard Nielsen and Muhammed Damar scored the goals.
Ajax shot zero times on target
The fact that Ajax did not shoot on target once in the one-hour practice match was telling. Rulli, who has just recovered from a serious shoulder injury, faced seven shots.
The intended starting players remained sidelined for the entire match, because the starting teams of Ajax and Hannover 96 will meet each other on Sunday at 1 p.m. Players such as Diant Ramaj, Kenneth Taylor, Steven Berghuis and Brian Brobbey are expected to play in that match.
With the defeat, Ajax’s reserves did not exactly gain confidence for the restart of the competition. Ajax, number five in the Eredivisie, continues the competition next Sunday against Go Ahead Eagles.
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The post first appeared on www.nu.nl