Youthful Ajax lose 2-0 to Manchester United in Europa League final

Youthful Ajax lose 2-0 to Manchester United in Europa League final

Some 3.6 million people in the Netherlands watched Ajax lose the Europa League final to Manchester United 2-0 on television, broadcaster NOS said. Goals from Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan overpowered the youthful Ajax team in Stockholm, dashing the club’s hopes of winning their first European title since 1995. Ajax coach Peter Bosz told Uefa television after the match: ‘We're obviously disappointed. I didn't see the Ajax team I'm used to, pressing and competing for first balls. We weren't good enough. Often, to win finals you must first lose them. It's all new for all my team. They will learn a lot from it and if we keep the squad together they will be strInsert Banneronger for it.’ The average age of the Ajax team was 22, and defender Mathijs de Ligt is just 17. He became the youngest player ever to take part in a European final. The defeat means Ajax will not qualify directly for next season’s Champions League competition and will have to take part in the qualifying rounds. Feyenoord, as Eredivisie champions, do qualify. Match report and highlights  More >



Ajax ready for Europa League final

Ajax ready to take on Manchester United in Europa League final Amsterdam football club Ajax tonight bid to win their first European football trophy since 1995, taking on English giants Manchester United in Stockholm. Thousands of Ajax fans are heading for the Swedish capital by plane to watch the Europa League final, which kicks off at 8.45pm In Amsterdam, preparations have been made for up to 100,000 people to watch the game on giant screens on the city’s Museumplein, and to welcome the team home if they are victorious. The final, has, however been overshadowed by Monday's bombing at the Manchester Arena and the opening ceremony will be more muted, RTL said. In addition, there will be a minute's silence for the victims before the kick-off. Although Ajax go into Wednesday's match as underdogs, coach Peter Bosz says that means the pressure will be off. ‘We’ve shown this season that we can win by playing good football, and we can do it in the final,’ he said during the pre-match press conference. ‘I don’t feel any pressure, but I see a lot of opportunities.’ Ajax also have the advantage of a week’s extra rest following the end of the league season, while United concluded their Premiership campaign on Sunday with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace to finish sixth. Money The match carries a huge incentive in the form of automatic entry to next year’s Champions League group stages. Victory in the Europa League will also earn the winners €6.5 million in prize money, but Champions League participation is worth a guaranteed €12 million plus €4 million worth of television rights. ‘Great things could happen tonight,’ RTL sports correspondent Marcel Maijer said. ‘If Ajax play like they did against Schalke, Copenhagen and Lyon, then they have a good chance.’ Captain Davy Klaassen told reporters: ‘We are going to play our own game and put on the pressure.’  More >


Ajax gear up for Europa League final

Youthful Ajax lose 2-0 to Manchester United in Europa League final After Feyenoord secured their first league title in 18 years, attention has shifted to Ajax as the Amsterdam club bids to win its first European trophy since 1995. Ajax go into Wednesday night's Europa League final in Stockholm as underdogs against English giants Manchester United, but coach Peter Bosz says that means the pressure will be off. 'We've shown this season that we can win by playing good football, and we can do it in the final,' he said during the pre-match press conference. 'I don't feel any pressure, but I see a lot of opportunities.' Ajax also have the advantage of a week's extra rest following the end of the league season, while United concluded their Premiership campaign on Sunday with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace to finish sixth. Seventeen-year-old defender Matthijs de Ligt could become the youngest player ever to take the field in a European final, less than a year after he was lining up in Ajax's youth team against Emmen in the Jupiler League. The match carries a huge incentive in the form of automatic entry to next year's Champions League group stages. Victory in the Europa League will earn the winners €6.5 million in prize money, but Champions League participation is worth a guaranteed €12 million plus €4 million worth of television rights. Around 100,000 fans are expected to pack Museumplein on Wednesday night to follow the match on giant screens broadcasting live from Sweden. Three giant crosses have been mown into the grass in the square to symbolise the city's relationship with the club. The two clubs have won the European Cup seven times between them – Ajax four times, United three – but Ajax's triumph in 1992 is the only victory for either side in the Europa League, previously known as the Uefa Cup.  More >


Two more victims in alleged sport abuse

Youthful Ajax lose 2-0 to Manchester United in Europa League final Two new victims have come forward in connection with an investigation into child abuse at sports clubs, the Volkskrant reported on Wednesday. One of the men played in the junior team at Sparta football club in the 1990s. His alleged abuser, a former sport masseur, worked as a volunteer for the club until this week. The second case dates back to the 1970s and involved a coach. Both boys were around 13 when the alleged abuse took place. ‘He put oil on my genitals. I am almost certain he did this to other boys,’ the former Sparta youth player told the paper. He did not report the abuse at the time. ‘When you’re young you don’t talk about these things. I wanted to become a professional football player and was afraid they’d send me away.’ When confronted with the accusation the sport masseur in question said he could not remember exactly what happened 24 years ago, according to Sparta chairman Rob Westerhof. ‘We have suspended him for now. In the meantime we will do all we can to find out what happened’, Westerhof told the paper. The club has since opened a hotline for possible other victims of abuse at the club. The news comes in the wake of three other cases of alleged abuse at football clubs, at PSV and Vitesse. At least four clubs are now implicated in abuse cases. According to the Volkskrant it looks as if the number of cases may snowball, which would be similar Britain where five hundred victims of abuse came forward in the space of a few months. FC Eindhoven already had a hotline for victims in place because of events at PSV. ‘But we had no idea it would hit us this quickly,’ chairman Frans Janssen told the paper. The player involved has been offered support and was asked to help the club identify sexual abuse. ‘He was happy to do this,’ Janssen said.  More >


Feyenoord fans pack Rotterdam city centre

Rotterdam city centre packed with Feyenoord fans to celebrate league title So many people packed into central Rotterdam to celebrate Feyenoord's first league title in 18 years that police urged fans to stay at home. The city council estimates some 140,000 people turned out to greet the team, who beat Heracles 3-1 at home on Sunday, thanks to a hat trick from Dirk Kuijt. 'You've waited for this for 18 years and you never gave up,' team captain Kuijt told the crowd from the balcony of city hall. Coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst said he was proud that 'we can all celebrate as Rotterdammers together' while singer Lee Towers let the massed crowds in singing 'You'll never walk alone'. Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb described the atmosphere as 'extremely happy' and said the win is a gift to the entire city. The Eredivisie title, the first for the club since 1999, gives Feyenoord direct entry into next season's Champions League competition, which will bring in some €12m in television rights, plus up to a further €9m in the group stage. Ajax, who ended the season just one point behind Feyenoord, will take part in the third qualification round of the Champions League competition in an effort to qualify for the group stage. Hello @realDonaldTrump! We call this: Het Legioen. pic.twitter.com/IpbUkXzRsD — Martijn Hendriks (@hendriksmj) May 15, 2017 Trump, are you watching? #Feyenoord #huldiging pic.twitter.com/29CgHW0B6J — Lotfi El Hamidi (@Lotfi_Hamid) May 15, 2017   More >