Ajax critical of Getafe’s playing style as all Dutch football teams exit European competition
Only a year on from when Ajax shocked the football world with a strong Champions League performance cut short in the semi-finals by a a stoppage-time goal, the Amsterdam side exited the Europa League in the tournament’s first knockout stage Thursday night. AZ Alkmaar was also knocked out by Lask Linz meaning that there are no Dutch teams left in European competition.
Though the Amsterdam side beat Getafe 2-1 at the Johan Cruyff Arena, it was not enough to overcome the aggregate score following a 2-0 loss in the first leg against the Spanish outfit from Madrid.
Ajax made it tougher on themselves after conceding an early goal meaning they had to score three to move forward. “That made it very difficult, all of a sudden you need to score plenty of goals and we tried our best,” midfielder Carel Eiting told RTL 7.
Just like the first game, it was a scrappy affair with Donny Van Der Beek bemoaning the way Getafe went about their business. “God they were annoying, unbelievable.”
AZ Alkmaar was also knocked out in the last 32, being beaten 3-0 over two games by the Austrian club Lask Linz. Linz had already beaten another Dutch side, PSV Eindhoven, this season advancing from the group at PSV’s expense.
The Alkmaar team was beaten 2-0 in Linz last night and lost 0-1 in Alkmaar a week ago. Despite this, trainer Arne Slot was not impressed by the Austrian squad. “I don’t feel like we have been beaten by the best team we have played this season. In my opinion, Antwerp was a better team,” Slot said of the Belgian team AZ faced in the group stage.
AZ midfielder Jordy Clasie told the team’s website that it was a lesson in efficiency. “They gave us plenty of space and we did not take advantage.”
Ajax and AZ both need to regroup as both have a huge top-of-the-table clash on Sunday against one another. AZ will travel to Amsterdam for an 8 p.m. kick-off at the Cruyff Arena.
Ajax is currently three points ahead of AZ at the top with AZ hoping to close that gap this weekend.