Amsterdam Ajax Finish off Portland Timbers with Style and Grace

Marc Roseblade@myscottishfitbaContributor IIIMay 27, 2011

Ajax
AjaxNed Dishman/Getty Images

Ajax finished off their two-game mini tour of Americas North West with a display of football that felled the Timbers. 


Dutch giants Amsterdam Ajax finished off their two-match tour of the US with a resounding 2-0 victory over MLS new boys Portland Timbers on Wednesday night at JELD-WEN Field.

Scotsman Johns Spencer's team spent most of the night chasing shadows in pursuit of the ball and were taught a real footballing masterclass as the Dutch side portrayed the Dutch "Total Football" style of play that is so well-documented.

The sellout crown of over 18,000 may well have been disappointed with the final result but must have left the stadium pleased to have witnessed one of the founding fathers of world football grace their corner of the world.

In a match that Ajax more or less dominated from start to end, it took 17 minutes for the first goal to be scored with a close range effort from Lorenzo Ebecilo and although the Amsterdam side were clearly the better of the two on show, it took until the last minute before Demy de Zeeuw added another to round the match off in style.

In the Timbers defence, finding themselves playing a friendly match in the middle of the season isn't ideal and with the lineup being shuffled to allow fringe players and returning injured players some game time, the Portland side weren't at full strength and at times during the match this showed as they were outclassed in every department.

This defeat at home by Ajax belies their MLS form so far this season, going 5-0 in their previsou matches at the JELD-WEN Field, but the two friendlies they have played there have both ended in defeat, perhaps showing a bit of guile by head coach Spencer in saving his best players for the most important journey of MLS football.

Portland were limited in opportunities in this match, perhaps due to a lowered strength team being placed upon the park, perhaps due to the alternate 4-4-3 formation trialed on the night. Whatever the reason, opportunities were slim on the ground with Pore having a couple of chances in the first half being the closest they came to even hitting the target.

The second half fared no better for the home side and even the introduction of five substitutes couldn't bring about a goal for the home support to cheer. A triple chance in the 57th minute was the best opportunity the Timbers had when Horst headed towards goal only for Eddie Johnson to hit the post with Lowry picking up the rebound but his shot was saved by Ajax keeper Verhoeven.

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Ajax could have added another goal just prior to this but a Daley Blinid shot struck the crossbar before going over.

Incidentally, Portland now go back to MLS duty against DC United, who were the other MLS side to have been beaten by Ajax on this mini tour by the Dutch side with the two squaring off on Sunday.

Ajax Fell Timbers in Friendly at Portland (match highlights)