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Twente comeback stuns Ajax in Dutch Cup final

Published: Sunday 8 May 2011, 21.00CET
Marc Janko struck deep into extra time to earn FC Twente their third Dutch Cup at AFC Ajax's expense, the holders having let slip a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 in Rotterdam.
by Berend Scholten
Twente comeback stuns Ajax in Dutch Cup final
Twente celebrate after defeating Ajax in the Dutch Cup final ©Getty Images
Published: Sunday 8 May 2011, 21.00CET

Twente comeback stuns Ajax in Dutch Cup final

Marc Janko struck deep into extra time to earn FC Twente their third Dutch Cup at AFC Ajax's expense, the holders having let slip a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 in Rotterdam.

A Marc Janko header deep into extra time secured FC Twente their third Dutch Cup after holders AFC Ajax let slip a 2-0 lead.

The two sides were meeting for the first time in the space of a week, with Saturday's Eredivisie contest sure to play a huge role in the destination of the Dutch title. Twente currently lie a point clear of Ajax at the top and that added extra intrigue to their showpiece in Rotterdam, which exploded into life when Ajax's Demy de Zeeuw fired in from the edge of the area after 19 minutes.

Vying for their 19th Dutch Cup, the Amsterdam giants then doubled the deficit when Lorenzo Ebecilio scored with a deflected effort five minutes before half-time. Just as it seemed they would go in at the break with the match firmly in hand, however, Wout Brama combined with Luuk de Jong and drove the ball past Kenneth Vermeer.

Twente then levelled the scores 11 minutes into the second period when Theo Janssen found the net following good work between Bart Buysse and De Jong on the right. The league champions kept pressing forward after that, though it took Ebecilio shooting against a post after rounding goalkeeper Sander Boschker to take the game into extra time. In fact, the sides seemed destined to settle matters via a penalty shoot-out until substitute Janko headed in a Janssen free-kick in the 117th minute.

"The result could have gone either way," commented Twente coach Michel Preud'homme, whose first silverware with the Enschede outfit was their Dutch Super Cup success against Ajax shortly after he replaced Steve McClaren last summer. "Twente are a fantastic club and they've become even a bit more fantastic now. This was a beautiful final for everyone, with two strong sides."

Last updated: 09/05/11 9.55CET

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