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Fortune favours beaten Ajax

Published: Tuesday 12 November 2002, 22.00CET
AFC Ajax 1-2 Internazionale FC
Ajax sealed their place in the second group stage despite a home defeat.

Match statistics

AjaxInternazionale

Goals scored1
 
2
Attempts on target5
 
6
Attempts off target20
 
3
Corners8
 
2
Offsides2
 
1
Fouls committed23
 
19
Yellow cards1
 
5
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 03/10/2013 16:21 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Tuesday 12 November 2002, 22.00CET

Fortune favours beaten Ajax

AFC Ajax 1-2 Internazionale FC
Ajax sealed their place in the second group stage despite a home defeat.

Both AFC Ajax and Internazionale FC reached the second group stage of the UEFA Champions League despite a 2-1 defeat for the home side at the Amsterdam ArenA, as the closely fought Group D ended in dramatic style.

Two goals
Argentinian striker Hernán Crespo scored twice in as many minutes in the second half to turn the game on its head after an opening period totally dominated by Ronald Koeman's Ajax. However, a 1-1 draw between Rosenborg BK and Olympique Lyonnais in the other group game ensured both sides would reach the second stage.

Unlucky break
Ajax should have taken a commanding lead into the half-time interval. Koeman's troops were well in charge despite the absence of suspended defender Cristian Chivu and injured strikers Jari Litmanen and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Goal disallowed
The crowd at the Amsterdam ArenA were enraged when the home side had a goal disallowed after just eight minutes. A ball from the right found striker Ahmed Hossam 'Mido', and though Inter goalkeeper Francsco Toldo managed to save his header, he could do little to prevent Rafael van der Vaart steering the loose ball into an empty net. The youngster wheeled away to celebrate but the referee's assistant had raised his flag for offside.

Near misses
That near miss briefly spurred Inter into action with Christian Vieri and Crespo looking lively up front, but Ajax rallied and as the first 45 minutes continued, their dominance in midfield was almost complete. All that was missing was a goal. Van der Vaart stung Toldo's palms with a fierce long-range drive after 30 minutes, before Nigel de Jong flashed the ball centimetres over the goalkeeper's crossbar with a near-post header from a corner.

Slack defending
It was all the more amazing then that in the space of two minutes, Ajax's hopes of a win evaporated as two moments of slack defending cost them two goals. Luigi Di Biagio was allowed too much time as he cut in from the left five minutes after the interval, and his chipped cross was headed firmly past Joey Didulica by the tireless Crespo. Marking was again at fault two minutes later as Ajax found themselves short-staffed at the back and Vieri's beautiful lofted cross was headed past Didulica by Crespo from ten metres.

Past the post
Ajax quickly regained some of their poise and Mido was unlucky not to reduce the deficit after 59 minutes when he turned and shot in the area only to see his effort flash just wide of Toldo's left-hand post.

Bizarre miss
However, Di Biagio could consider himself even more unlucky after a poor clearance from Didulica put Ajax in trouble with eight minutes remaining. As Ajax tried to claim the ball back, Di Biagio hit a terrific shot which rattled off the crossbar, hit the back of the diving goalkeeper and somehow bounced over the bar for a corner.

Ajax consolation
With the news of the draw in Trondheim filtering through, Ajax finally found the luck that had eluded them for so long as Van der Vaart's shot from 15 metres was deflected past Toldo by defender Iván Cordoba four minutes into added time.

Last updated: 13/11/02 10.42CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2002/matches/round=1636/match=1036518/postmatch/report/index.html#fortune+favours+beaten+ajax

Lineups

ajax

Ajax

internazionale

Internazionale

21
DidulicaJoey Didulica (GK)
1
ToldoFrancesco Toldo (GK)
Yellow Card79
2
TrabelsiHatem Trabelsi
2
CórdobaIván Córdoba
3
BergdølmoAndré Bergdølmo (C)
4
ZanettiJavier Zanetti (C)
4
GalásekTomáš Galásek
Substitution71
7
ConceiçãoSérgio Conceição
Substitution72
7
Van der MeydeAndy van der Meyde
9
CrespoHernán Crespo
Goal50
Goal52
Substitution65
10
PienaarSteven Pienaar
Substitution58
10
MorfeoDomenico Morfeo
Substitution90+3
11
MidoMido
Yellow Card76
14
Di BiagioLuigi Di Biagio
13
MaxwellMaxwell
23
MaterazziMarco Materazzi
Yellow Card26
23
Van der VaartRafael van der Vaart
Goal90+4
25
AlmeydaMatias Almeyda
Yellow Card80
24
Van DammeJelle Van Damme
Substitution58
32
VieriChristian Vieri
Yellow Card41
26
N. de JongNigel de Jong
77
CocoFrancesco Coco
Yellow Card31

Substitutes

32
TimmerHenk Timmer (GK)
12
FontanaAlberto Fontana (GK)
8
WitschgeRichard Witschge
Substitution58
5
Emre BelözoğluEmre Belözoğlu
Substitution90+3
14
van HalstJan van Halst
15
AdaniDaniele Adani
Substitution72
17
WambertoWamberto
Substitution58
20
RecobaÁlvaro Recoba
Substitution65
19
MachlasNikos Machlas
22
Okan BurukOkan Buruk
22
YakubuAbubakari Yakubu
Substitution71
26
PasqualeGiovanni Pasquale
27
SikoraVictor Sikora
31
VivasNelson Vivas

Coach

Ronald Koeman (NED) Héctor Cúper (ARG)

Referee

Urs Meier (SUI)

Assistant referees

Francesco Buragina (SUI), Felix Zueger (SUI)

Fourth official

René Rogalla (SUI)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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