Ajax started the new season in the Eredivisie on Saturday with a hard-fought victory. Thanks to a strong second half, the reigning national champion won 2-3 at Fortuna Sittard, where Burak Yilmaz graced his debut with a goal.
Fortuna surprisingly took the lead after six minutes via Paul Gladon. Ajax played below par before half-time, but put things in order in the first twenty minutes of the second half via Kenneth Taylor, Devyne Rensch and Brian Brobbey.
In the final phase it became exciting again thanks to substitute Yilmaz, who scored very nicely from a free kick in the 87th minute. The Turkish acquisition was also unable to save Fortuna from a defeat in the remaining minutes.
Ajax coach Alfred Schreuder chose Remko Pasveer under the bar in Sittard. Last week in the match against PSV for the Johan Cruijff Scale (3-5) Jay Gorter was preferred, but the young keeper did not make a good impression.
PSV will also start the new season on Saturday evening. The team of coach Ruud van Nistelrooij will take on the newly promoted FC Emmen in-house (kick-off at 8 p.m.).
After the break, Ajax put things in order at Fortuna Sittard.
Poor Ajax does not get through in the first half
A week after the lost duel for the Johan Cruijff Scale, Ajax got off to a dramatic start in Sittard. After Steven Bergwijn lost the ball, Fortuna switched quickly and the defensive vulnerability of the team from Amsterdam was exposed. Partly due to inattention at Perr Schuurs, Gladon was able to approach Pasveer from the right side and scored the first goal of this Eredivisie season after six minutes.
There was no quick answer from Ajax after that false start. Schreuder’s team looked for a hole in the defense of Fortuna, which played compactly, but barely made it through. After a touched attempt by Antony (next to) Taylor’s best opportunity was available. The midfielder saw his low shot disappear into the hands of Yanick van Osch.
It was one of the few moments that Ajax was threatening, despite the many ball possession. Fortuna tried to become dangerous especially in the counter, but failed. It was significant that after half an hour, Schreuder already warmed up several substitutes, to the delight of the fans who had traveled with them.
Burak Yilmaz immediately made his mark at Fortuna Sittard.
Yilmaz immediately asserts himself
Halfway through, the Ajax coach indeed intervened by bringing Brobbey and Davy Klaassen for Steven Berghuis and Schuurs. This intervention immediately had the desired effect. After a short corner a pass from Taylor followed, who disappeared into the far corner partly due to good work by Klaassen. Klaassen claimed to have touched the ball with his studs, but the goal was scored by Taylor.
Fortuna had barely recovered from the equalizer when Ajax was already ahead in the 51st minute. Rensch who had come up hoped to serve Brobbey, but got the ball back into his own feet and hit the mark. The flag initially went up because Brobbey would have been offside, but that turned out not to be the case.
Ajax was much stronger in the first ten minutes of the second half than before the break and expressed that in a third goal in the 62nd minute. Brobbey took a good position on the right and worked from close range on the edge of offside. For Fortuna trainer Sjors Ultee, that was reason to intervene and delight the public with the entrance of Yilmaz, who made his debut for Fortuna under great applause.
The striker who came over on a free transfer was not found for a long time, but still made his mark in the final phase. Yilmaz left Pasveer without a chance with a beautiful free kick, a few minutes after a goal by Bergwijn was disallowed for offside. In the four minutes of injury time, Fortuna hoped to force something, but Ajax remained upright without major problems and the Eredivisie started with a victory.