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Ajax frustrated, Milan relieved after draw

Published: Wednesday 2 October 2013, 7.26CET
Viktor Fischer would have "settled for a point" before AFC Ajax faced AC Milan, but he and Daley Blind were downcast after conceding a late equaliser, to Kévin Constant's relief.
by Derek Brookman
from Amsterdam ArenA
Ajax frustrated, Milan relieved after draw
Mario Balotelli takes the plaudits for his dramatic equalising penalty ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Wednesday 2 October 2013, 7.26CET

Ajax frustrated, Milan relieved after draw

Viktor Fischer would have "settled for a point" before AFC Ajax faced AC Milan, but he and Daley Blind were downcast after conceding a late equaliser, to Kévin Constant's relief.

The points may have been shared between AFC Ajax and AC Milan, yet the reactions of the players to the result differed significantly.

After the first half I wasn't tired at all because we'd forced them to do all the running
Viktor Fischer
To come back and still rescue a point shows that we have a lot of character as a team
Kévin Constant

The emotions of Ajax's Viktor Fischer and Milan's Kévin Constant contrasted sharply after the Dutch champions struck in the last minute only to then concede a Mario Balotelli penalty in the final seconds of an absorbing UEFA Champions League Group H fixture. Fischer said he was "really disappointed" that Ajax had let their lead slip while Constant, understandably perhaps, declared himself "happy with the draw."

Viktor Fischer, Ajax forward
Although we would possibly have settled for a point before the match, I'm standing here now feeling really disappointed because we came so close to taking all three. Tonight we continued to show the improvement that was evident at the weekend against Go Ahead Eagles [in a 6-0 victory]; it's good that our team spirit is still intact and that our form is improving. We're also enjoying our football again.

Milan came into the game after the break and spent more time in our half, maybe we were partially to blame for that. We gave the ball away too easily and didn't take our time as much as in the first 45 minutes. I feel tired now, probably because we had to chase the ball more in the second half. After the first half I wasn't tired at all because we'd forced them to do all the running.

Daley Blind, Ajax defender
It's a shame because we did well tonight, particularly in the first half we dominated without really creating clear chances. In the second half Milan improved, and we couldn't impose our game anymore.

When we scored right at the end, and immediately after that Ricardo [van Rhijn] cleared one off the line, it seemed like we were destined to win. Then came the penalty.

I don't think the fact that we conceded so late was down to tiredness. I certainly didn't feel any. After all, we still had the energy to open the scoring right at the end of the match. We now have one point from two games, so our aim of remaining in the competition into the new year remains intact, but we'll have to pick up more points in our next two matches [against Celtic FC].

Kévin Constant, Milan defender
Ajax played well in the first half, they kept the tempo high and we didn't see much of the ball. We were pressed back a lot. We did better after the break and managed to play more the way we wanted. We also started to create chances. But in the end we have to be happy with a draw, especially because we conceded a goal so late in the game. To come back and still rescue a point shows that we have a lot of character as a team.

Last updated: 02/10/13 8.27CET

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