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Ajax host new kids in Group A

Published: Wednesday 2 September 2009, 20.00CET
AFC Ajax begin their bid to add the UEFA Europa League title to their mighty European haul with a Group A tie against continental greenhorns FC Timişoara, whose coach knows plenty about Dutch football.
Ajax host new kids in Group A
Ajax have never faced Romanian opposition before ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

AjaxTimişoara

Goals scored9
 
4
Attempts on target118
 
60
Attempts off target2
 
0
Corners67
 
26
Offsides20
 
13
Fouls committed105
 
79
Yellow cards15
 
15
Red cards0
2

Media Services

Standings

SSI Err
 
Published: Wednesday 2 September 2009, 20.00CET

Ajax host new kids in Group A

AFC Ajax begin their bid to add the UEFA Europa League title to their mighty European haul with a Group A tie against continental greenhorns FC Timişoara, whose coach knows plenty about Dutch football.

Former UEFA Cup winners AFC Ajax kick off their bid to add the UEFA Europa League title to their mighty European haul with a Group A tie against continental greenhorns FC Timişoara, whose coach knows plenty about Dutch football.

Previous meetings

• The two sides have never met in European competition, and this is also Ajax's first match against a Romanian club and Timişoara's maiden meeting with Dutch opponents.

Match background

• Ajax played in two editions of the UEFA Cup group stage and made it through to the last 32 in 2006/07 and to the last 16 in the competition's final edition.

• Timişoara have never played in the group stage of a UEFA club competition, nor did FC Politehnica Timişoara, the previous big club in the Romanian city.

• Ajax are unbeaten in their last six European home games, with three draws and three victories. The last team to beat them at the Amsterdam ArenA - albeit after added-time - were NK Dinamo Zagreb, 3-2 winners in a UEFA Cup first round game on 4 October 2007.

• Timişoara are yet to win an away game in UEFA's club competitions,  having lost one and drawn two of their three fixtures abroad since first entering Europe last season.

Team facts

• Ajax coach Martin Jol faced Romanian opposition with two of his former clubs. His Hamburger SV side eliminated FC Unirea Urziceni in last term's UEFA Cup first round, winning 2-0 away after a 0-0 draw at home. Two seasons previously, Jol's Tottenham Hotspur FC outfit beat FC Dinamo 1948 Bucureşti 3-1 in the group stage of the same competition.

• Timişoara coach Ioan Ovidiu Sabău, a former Romanian international midfielder, has a decent record in his five away games as a coach in Europe, recording a win, three draws and just one defeat.

• The Timişoara coach played for Ajax's Eredivisie rivals Feyenoord from 1990-92. His three league games against Ajax – who featured Jol's assistants Danny Blind and John van 't Schip – all ended in defeat but his side beat the Amsterdam club 1-0 in the quarter-finals en route to claiming a second successive Dutch Cup in 1992.

• Sabău last played in the Netherlands with FC Rapid Bucureşti, drawing 1-1 in a UEFA Cup game at BV Vitesse on 17 September 2002. It was his last game in UEFA club competition as a player. Sabău also played for Romania in a 2-0 friendly defeat in the Netherlands in 1998.

• Ajax boast Romanian talent in the form of defender George Ogarăru, who joined from FC Steaua Bucureşti in 2006 and spent last season back on loan at the club.

• Ajax visit RSC Anderlecht on Matchday 2, while Timişoara are at home against NK Dinamo Zagreb on the same night, 1 October.

Last updated: 11/09/09 12.23CET

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