AC Milan’s veteran 34-year-old Holland international midfielder CLARENCE SEEDORF (10), who started his accomplished senior professional career at Ajax Amsterdam in the fall of 1992 and later earned 87 caps (11 goals) for the Netherlands, attempts to shield the ball from Ajax Amsterdam’s Holland international defender VURNON ANITA (6) at the Amsterdam Arena. (Reuters photo)
UEFA Champions League
1 – Ajax Amsterdam (HOL) ——— El Hamdaoui 23′
1 – AC Milan (ITA) ———————- Ibrahimovic 37′
In the first of a home and away series likely to decide second place for Group G, visiting Italian Serie A side AC MILAN and AJAX AMSTERDAM battled to a 1-1 draw in the UEFA Champions League.
Morocco international striker MOUNIR EL HAMDAOUI, an off-season acquisition from AZ 67 Alkmaar costing 5.0 million Euros, sent Ajax Amsterdam to the lead in the 23rd minute with his second goal in UEFA Champions League competition this season after a fine run on the right and square ball from Uruguay World Cup attacker LUIS SUAREZ.
Two former Ajax Amsterdam players, however, pulled AC Milan level with less than ten minutes remaining in the first half to mark the occasion of their homecoming.
Holland international midfielder CLARENCE SEEDORF, who made his first Eredivisie appearance for Ajax Amsterdam against FC Groningen in November of 1992 at the age of 16 and is still the youngest debutant in history for de Godenzonen, led the counterattack for AC Milan and provided the final ball.
Sweden international forward ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC, who played three full seasons for Ajax Amsterdam before being sold to Italian side Juventus of Turin for 16.0 million Euros in August of 2004, equalized for AC Milan with a vicious volley that left Holland World Cup goalkeeper MAARTEN STEKELENBURG no chance between the sticks.
AC Milan might have had a late winner, but Stekelenburg, who had five saves in the match, made a sensational stop on Ghana World Cup midfielder KEVIN PRINCE BOATENG to make sure Ajax Amsterdam received a share of the points.
Ajax Amsterdam’s Morocco international striker MOUNIR EL HAMDAOUI fires a shot in front of 34-year-old Italian international defender ALESSANDRO NESTA (13) of AC Milan at the Amsterdam Arena. (Reuters photo)
AJAX AMSTERDAM : Stekelenburg ; van der Wiel, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Anita (Sulejmani 38′) ; Emanuelson, de Jong, de Zeeuw (Lindgren 79′), Enoh ; El Hamdaoui, Suarez
AC MILAN : Abbiati ; Zambrotta, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Antonini ; Flamini (Boateng 52′), Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf (Abate 85′) ; Ibrahimovic, Robinho (Inzaghi 85′)
Ajax Amsterdam’s Morocco international striker MOUNIR EL HAMDAOUI (9) has his arms out after a 23rd minute goal while Italy international defender ALESSANDRO NESTA (13), midfielder ANDREA PIRLO (21) and France international midfielder MATHIEU FLAMINI (16) of AC Milan express their frustration with falling behind early at the Amsterdam Arena in Holland. (Reuters photo)