Ajax was unable to cause a miracle against Getafe in the knock-out phase of the Europa League on Thursday. After last week's 2-0 loss in Spain, the return in the Johan Cruijff ArenA ended in a 2-1 win.
A very early goal against Jaime Mata meant that Ajax had to score four times. Basic deputy Danilo Pereira equalized quickly and after the break Carel Eiting signed for 2-1, but a complete comeback was not in the cards.
Just like last week, the irritated Ajax had a lot of trouble with Getafe's playing style. The Spanish team spent time where that was possible; players regularly went to the ground with misery and took it easy with game resumes.
The elimination of Ajax means that the Netherlands no longer has any clubs in Europe. Earlier in the evening, AZ in the Europa League suffered a fatal 2-0 defeat at the Austrian LASK.
Ajax still has a chance to win two prizes this season: the national title and the TOTO KNVB Cup. In the competition, competitor AZ is the next opponent on Sunday and three days later FC Utrecht is waiting in the semi-finals of the cup tournament.
Basic deputy Danilo Pereira provided the early equalizer in the Johan Cruijff ArenA. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Getafe distributes early thumps
In a packed Johan Cruijff ArenA Ajax started in a good mood against Getafe, but within five minutes the Spaniards caused a heavy thump. The Ajax defense did not get the ball away and attacker Mata scored from close range.
With that, the battle seemed to be over, but Ajax had a quick answer. After a pass by Donny van de Beek, the ball came to twenty-year-old Danilo, who made sure that hope on the Amsterdam side returned.
Just like last week, Ajax was completely annoyed by the often theatrical behavior of the Getafe players. Along the line, even trainers Erik ten Hag and José Bordalás got along with each other; it turned out to both of them on a yellow card.
Ajax went looking for a hole, but was too sloppy to create a lot and even escaped a new backlog. Mata hit the crossbar with a header and the Brazilian Deyverson hit the post with a nice swipe.
Erik ten Hag got in the first half with Getafe coach José Bordalás. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Promes cannot save Ajax either
In the break Ten Hag changed: he took Danilo off and brought Quincy Promes. The attacker who had just recovered from an injury could not change much in the game initially.
The players of Ajax continued to find each other difficult and those of Getafe took it easy where possible. In the first twenty minutes after halftime, captain Dusan Tadic put the ball in danger with a header.
In the 63rd minute, the hoped-for goal came when a free kick by Eiting came in at the second post. It caused a revival among the public, but not on the pitch, because Ajax remained sloppy and incoherent.
Moreover, the Ten Hag team was again lucky when Nikola Maksimovic hit the post. In the final phase, substitute Klaas-Jan Huntelaar put everything on the attack, but the end of the European adventure could no longer be averted.
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