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Kudus and Haller leave Dutch Cup final crestfallen as Ajax bow to PSV Eindhoven

5:40 am AEST 18/4/22
Mohammed Kudus Ajax 2021-22
The Ghana midfielder and the Cote d’Ivoire striker were on the losing side in the cup final

It was a disappointing day for Ajax’s big African contingent as the club suffered a 2-1 defeat to PSV Eindhoven in the Dutch Cup final on Sunday.

Interestingly, it was the Lancers who drew first blood on the day, Ryan Gravenberch the scorer but replies from Erick Gutierrez and Cody Gakpo tuned things around for the Farmers at Stadion Feijenoord in Rotterdam.

The win hands PSV the Dutch Cup for the 10th time in history, while Ajax will have to wait for at least a year to make it 21 golds in the cabinet.

Morocco full-back Noussair Mazraoui was the only African star in the Lancers’ starting line-up, which also featured Ghana target and Dutch youth attacker Brian Brobbey as the lead striker.

Ghana playmaker Mohammed Kudus and Cote d’Ivoire forward Sebastien Haller were left on the bench, while Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana and Morocco attacker Zakaria Labyad were completely missing from the matchday squad.

For PSV, coach Roger Schmidt selected Cote d’Ivoire ace Ibrahim Sangare in midfield.

Gravenberch broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute, receiving a pass from Davy Klaassen outside the box and releasing a shot beyond goalkeeper Yvon Mvogo into the bottom right corner.

Just three minutes back from half-time, the Farmers scored the equaliser through Gutierrez who headed home at the far post after Sangare flicked over a free-kick into the box.

Two minutes later, PSV completed the comeback as Gakpo drove a shot from outside into the net following a sensational solo run from the centre of the park after intercepting a cross-field Ajax pass.

In the 58th minute, Erik ten Hag’s outfit thought they had registered an equaliser when Klaassen put the ball at the back of the net but the video assistant referee disallowed the goal.

Mazraoui was forced out of the game by injury in the 72nd minute, Haller his replacement. Kudus, on the other hand, replaced Klaassen four minutes to full-time.

Sangare, meanwhile, featured for the entire duration of the game.

Ajax will hope to return to winning ways when they face NEC Nijmegen in the Eredivisie on Saturday.