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Maxwell hammers Ajax ahead

Published: Wednesday 16 February 2005, 23.57CET
AFC Ajax 1-0 AJ Auxerre A superb first-half goal from Maxwell gives the Dutch side the edge.

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Published: Wednesday 16 February 2005, 23.57CET

Maxwell hammers Ajax ahead

AFC Ajax 1-0 AJ Auxerre A superb first-half goal from Maxwell gives the Dutch side the edge.

A superb goal from Maxwell nine minutes before half-time gave AFC Ajax a one-goal advantage to take into the second leg of their UEFA Cup Round of 32 tie with AJ Auxerre.

Superb goal
After an evenly matched opening half-hour, the Brazilian wing-back brought the game to life, bursting into the Auxerre area and shooting Ajax in front after collecting Rafael van der Vaart's excellent back-heel.

Babel chance
Ajax had been boosted by the return of captain Van der Vaart from suspension, while young striker Ryan Babel was given an opportunity up front with January signing Angelos Charisteas ineligible. Auxerre coach Guy Roux recalled Bonaventure Kalou and Philippe Violeau, both recovered from injury.

Cool save
The match started tentatively with the only goalmouth action in the first 20 minutes provided by Van der Vaart free-kicks, two of which were easily punched clear by Fabien Cool, before the third, from 20 metres, was excellently saved by the Auxerre goalkeeper diving to his left.

Close shave
Ajax were dominating possession but were always at risk on the counterattack, as was shown on 33 minutes when Kanga Akalé was brought down by Hatem Trabelsi as he looked to race clear. The Tunisian received a yellow card and watched as the resulting free-kick was placed just the wrong side of the post by Violeau.

Maxwell hammer
Three minutes later Ajax were in front and it was no surprise that Van der Vaart had a pivotal role. Maxwell raced down the left before playing a lovely give-and-go with the Ajax captain, seeing the ball back-heeled into his path before slamming it high into the net.

Ajax close
Once in front Ajax burst into life and could have added to their lead before half-time, twice going close through the 18-year-old Babel and a Trabelsi shot from 20 metres. After the break the same pattern continued. The hosts would have been two ahead just four minutes after the resumption had Van der Vaart's curling set-piece deflected off Bacary Sagna's head and into the net, rather than on to the crossbar.

Auxerre warning
On 53 minutes, however, Auxerre fired a warning sign that they were still a force to be reckoned with, when an error by Trabelsi allowed Kalou to cross for Benjani Mwaruwari, who saw his header well saved by Ajax replacement goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.

French pressure
The visitors began to regain confidence and just past the hour mark went close twice through a dipping Violeau volley and a Benoît Cheyrou drive which was deflected just past the post in a period of good pressure.

Injury worry
But no French side have won the UEFA Cup, and if Auxerre are to become pioneers they will need to reverse a one-goal deficit in the second leg after failing to capitalise on their only threatening spell. Auxerre's cause may be helped, however, by the condition of Van der Vaart, who was substituted on 78 minutes with what looked like a leg injury.

Last updated: 17/02/05 11.25CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2004/matches/round=1977/match=79952/postmatch/report/index.html#maxwell+hammers+ajax+ahead

Lineups

ajax

Ajax

auxerre

Auxerre

21
StekelenburgMaarten Stekelenburg (GK)
1
CoolFabien Cool (GK)
2
TrabelsiHatem Trabelsi
Yellow Card33
3
JaurèsJean-Sébastien Jaurès
3
HeitingaJohn Heitinga
6
VioleauPhilippe Violeau
4
EscudéJulien Escudé
7
CheyrouBenoît Cheyrou
5
MaxwellMaxwell
Goal36
11
AkaléKanga Akalé
7
RosalesMauro Rosales
Substitution71
12
MignotJean-Pascal Mignot
8
PienaarSteven Pienaar
Substitution45+2
15
KalouBonaventure Kalou
10
Van der VaartRafael van der Vaart
Substitution78
18
MathisLionel Mathis
16
N. de JongNigel de Jong
21
BenjaniMwaruwari Benjani
Substitution90
28
BoukhariNourdin Boukhari
23
BolfRené Bolf
49
BabelRyan Babel
29
SagnaBacary Sagna

Substitutes

1
LobonţBogdan Lobonţ (GK)
16
HamelSébastien Hamel (GK)
12
ObodaiAnthony Obodai
Substitution45+2
4
GrichtingStéphane Grichting
17
AnastasiouYannis Anastasiou
9
PieroniLuigi Pieroni
Substitution90
20
De RidderDaniël de Ridder
Substitution71
10
TainioTeemu Tainio
38
LindgrenRasmus Lindgren
Substitution78
20
GonzalezArnaud Gonzalez
26
MaduroHedwiges Maduro
25
RecorbetDavid Recorbet
29
MiteaNicolae Mitea
37
LejeuneKévin Lejeune

Coach

Ronald Koeman (NED) Guy Roux (FRA)

Referee

Jaroslav Jara (CZE)

Assistant referees

Miroslav Zlamal (CZE), Patrik Filipek (CZE)

Fourth official

Radek Matějek (CZE)

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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