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Sæternes strike ends Ajax dreams

Published: Wednesday 10 December 2003, 0.46CET
Club Brugge KV 2-1 AFC Ajax A late winner from Bengt Sæternes earns Brugge a UEFA Cup place.

Match statistics

Club BruggeAjax

Goals scored2
 
1
Attempts on target6
 
3
Attempts off target7
 
6
Corners7
 
5
Offsides5
 
6
Fouls committed12
 
15
Yellow cards1
 
2
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

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

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 10 December 2003, 0.46CET

Sæternes strike ends Ajax dreams

Club Brugge KV 2-1 AFC Ajax A late winner from Bengt Sæternes earns Brugge a UEFA Cup place.

By Mark Bennett at the Jan Breydelstadion

A Bengt Sæternes strike six minutes from time gave Club Brugge KV a 2-1 UEFA Champions League win in Belgium and ended AFC Ajax's European challenge.

Fine display
The substitute crowned a fine display from Brugge by sliding the ball under Ajax goalkeeper Bogdan Lobont. Yet the win was not enough for Trond Sollied's side as RC Celta de Vigo secured the runners-up position in Group H with a 2-1 victory away at section winners AC Milan. However, the Belgian side do have the consolation of a UEFA Cup place, while Ajax bow out of European competition altogether after finishing bottom of the table.

Attacking formations
The game kicked off with the two sides looking to secure second place in the section, and Sollied and his Ajax counterpart, Ronald Koeman, each opted for attacking 4-3-3 formations.

Early chances
Brugge looked sharper in the opening exchanges and came close to breaking the deadlock after only four minutes. The ball fell for Gaëtan Englebert just outside the penalty area after a throw-in from Peter Van der Heyden, and the midfield player unleashed a shot which deflected just wide off team-mate Sandy Martens.

Ajax unsettled
Ajax continued to look unsettled and Rune Lange should have punished their uncertainty after seven minutes. The Norwegian striker was left completely unmarked as he rose to meet Gert Verheyen's cross, but could only send his header wide. Lobont was then forced into action twice in quick succession, denying long-range efforts from Verheyen first and then Englebert.

Van der Vaart wide
Ajax finally roused themselves and threatened for the first time after 15 minutes. Brugge's Philippe Clement was dispossessed in midfield, leaving Rafael van der Vaart with a shooting chance, but the Dutch international steered his shot wide from outside the area.

Lange on target
That aside, it was near constant pressure from the home side, who duly took the lead after 27 minutes. Oliver De Cock sent a long, searching ball forward, and Lange escaped the attentions of John Heitinga to head beyond Lobont, who had come off his line in the hope of collecting.

Gifted equaliser
Brugge continued to enjoy the better of the play for the remainder of the first half, but instead of increasing their lead they gifted Ajax an equaliser. Van der Heyden needlessly used his hand as he tried to prevent Zlatan Ibrahimovic from reaching a cross, and Belgian striker Wesley Sonck made no mistake from the spot to send the teams in level at the break.

Advantage Ajax
The equaliser meant Ajax regained second place in the section – with the game between Milan and Celta also 1-1 at the halfway stage – and it took Brugge a while to regain their composure once the second half got under way. Within eight minutes, however, Lange found Martens in a promising position inside the penalty area, but this time Lobont was well-placed to save his shot.

Fewer chances
Once more, Ajax were largely penned back inside their own half and were restricted to the occasional isolated counterattack, but again Brugge were not able to take their chances. As time went on the hosts became more and more desperate and seemed to be running out of ideas.

Late drama
Ajax looked more comfortable at the back and increasingly dangerous on the break before news filtered through that Celta had taken the lead in Milan. The Amsterdam side now needed a win, and went close through Ibrahimovic before the late drama ended their challenge.

Last updated: 10/12/03 0.45CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2003/matches/round=1712/match=1056892/postmatch/report/index.html#sæternes+strike+ends+ajax+dreams

Lineups

club brugge

Club Brugge

ajax

Ajax

1
VerlindenDany Verlinden (C)
1
LobonţBogdan Lobonţ (GK)
2
De CockOlivier De Cock
4
EscudéJulien Escudé
3
SimonsTimmy Simons
9
IbrahimovićZlatan Ibrahimović
Substitution72
4
RozehnalDavid Rozehnal
Substitution79
10
Van der VaartRafael van der Vaart (C)
5
Van der HeydenPeter Van der Heyden
12
HeitingaJohn Heitinga
Yellow Card64
6
ClementPhilippe Clement
15
MaxwellMaxwell
7
VerheyenGert Verheyen
Yellow Card90+3
16
N. De JongNigel de Jong
Yellow Card90
8
EnglebertGaëtan Englebert
18
SneijderWesley Sneijder
10
ČehNastja Čeh
19
SonckWesley Sonck
Goal42
11
MartensSandy Martens
Substitution89
23
GrygeraZdeněk Grygera
Substitution85
19
LangeRune Lange
Goal27
Substitution66
29
MiteaNicolae Mitea
Substitution79

Substitutes

13
ButinaTomislav Butina (GK)
21
StekelenburgMaarten Stekelenburg (GK)
9
SæternesBengt Sæternes
Substitution66
Goal84
7
SoetaersTom Soetaers
Substitution79
24
SmoldersTim Smolders
Substitution79
14
Van DammeJelle Van Damme
Substitution85
25
CornelisHans Cornelis
Substitution89
20
LitmanenJari Litmanen
Substitution72
17
GvozdenovićIvan Gvozdenović
3
PasanenPetri Pasanen
26
MaertensBirger Maertens
17
WambertoWamberto
31
RoelandtsKevin Roelandts
26
ObodaiAnthony Obodai

Coach

Trond Sollied (NOR) Ronald Koeman (NED)

Referee

Domenico Messina (ITA)

Assistant referees

Piergiuseppe Farneti (ITA), Fabrizio Babini (ITA)

Fourth official

Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)

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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