Ajax rebounds from a frustrating Europa League loss, takes away Dutch Cup trophy
Ajax won the Dutch Cup for the 20th time in the club's history after defeating Arnhem side Vitesse 2-1 in Sunday’s final. Substitute David Neres scored the winning goal for the Amsterdam team in injury time. Ajax put the victory together soon after a frustrating loss against AS Roma last Thursday in which the time has failed to seize numerous opportunities.
"Thursday was a big disappointment. That's why it was difficult, we didn't have much time to recover. We had to keep our heads up. Winning the title was the most important thing" Ajax captain Dusan Tadic said.
The score was level at 1-1 with Ajax midfielder Ryan Gravenberch scoring in the 23rd minute and a goal by Vitesse attacker Loïs Openda seven minutes later. After 55 scoreless minutes, the match looked destined for extra time, but in the 86th minute saw Vitesse’s Jacob Rasmussen get a red card for a reckless hard tackle on Antony.
That set up the Neres one minute into injury time at the end of the match
Ajax coach Erik ten Hag was delighted with his team managing to regroup in time for Sunday's final and found the victory was well deserved. “Performing this against a physically strong team like Vitesse is just very good mentally. You often see that teams that lose on Thursday lose the weekend after as well. I am very proud of the character that we showed as a team.''
The match was held at De Kuip in Rotterdam. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the game was once again played without spectators.
“You have to celebrate the title, we were able to do that together with the team. Unfortunately, it was not with the fans, but we are overjoyed”, ten Hag concluded.