On paper it was expected to be a Leeds United u23 side against Jong Ajax, as a precursor to the main event friendly this evening. However, Leeds did include a few senior names including first pre-season appearances for Kalvin Phillips and Liam Cooper. However, they could prevent a 3-1 defeat to a very impressive Jong Ajax side.
Goals from Max De Waal, Christian Rasmussen, and Kristian Hlynsson put Ajax into a comfortable position, but Leeds fought well and eventually got a consolation through a Max Dean penalty which he won himself.
Cooper, Costa, Forshaw, Phillips, Poveda and Roberts all start in our first game of the day against Ajax pic.twitter.com/TLufxgmUoj— Leeds United (@LUFC) August 4, 2021
Leeds had the first chances. Leeds broke with a good counter attack with Helder Costa driving forward. Costa played the ball out to Liam Cooper who was pushing forward in a surprising left-back role, and his cross found Tyler Roberts at the back post but he didn’t catch the finish cleanly. Then, it was Cooper again who created the next chance. He played a good ball in behind for Ian Poveda down the left channel but his shot was pushed wide by Jong Ajax keeper Jay Gorter.
It was Ajax who took the lead in the 13th minute. A long kick should have been dealt with by Nohan Kenneh, but he made a mess of his touch and left Leeds short. Liam Cooper tried to get back to cover but he slipped and Max De Waal finished well past Van Den Heuvel from a Christian Rasmussen pass
I’ve said it before, but Kenneh looks so much better at DM than he does at CB. Still very young, and has more knowledgeable eyes on him than me, but I’d be pushing him into midfield regularly.— PG (@HarteandSoul) August 4, 2021
Both sides had openings following the goal, but the real chances dried up until the 24th minute. Ajax got in behind and Youri Regeer played the ball square to give Victor Jensen a tap-in, but Kris Moore chased back brilliantly to make a goal saving interception.
However, from the resulting corner, Ajax took it short and crossed to the back post, it was played across goal by Rio Hillen and tapped home by Rasmussen.
It should have been 3-0 a couple of minutes later, Adam Froshaw tried to dribble on the edge of the box but lost the ball but fortunately for him Jensen put the chance wide, the one minute later, Van Den Heuvel was forced into a good save.
For the rest of the half, Ajax looked very comfortable and fully deserved their lead at the break.
Looks like…— LUFC Academy Central (@LUFCacademynews) August 4, 2021
ON: McCarron, Jenkins, Allen, Summerville, Dean.
OFF: Cooper, Forshaw, Phillips, Costa, Roberts.
Harry Christy (GK) and Amari Miller are the remaining Leeds subs.
Leeds took off the senior players at half-time, so the second half saw even less experience on the field and Ajax made it 3-0 after just three minute of the second half through Kristian Hlynsson after good work from Kian Fitz-Jim.
Leeds had a great chance soon after the third goal. Crysencio Summerville did well down the left, he found Jack Jenkins who played it on to Poveda. Poveda beat his man well but skied the finish, it was a great chance and he should have done better.
Leeds created another chance with good pressing forcing a bad pass from the Ajax keeper, the ball fell to Max Dean but his shot was deflected just wide. Leeds had a goal disallowed just after the hour mark as Nohan Kenneh hammered home from a corner, but the referee gave a free-kick to Ajax.
Rasmussen then took advantage of a Kenneh error to run in behind down the Leeds left before cutting inside and hitting the bar via an excellent touch from Van Den Heuvel in the Leeds goal.
Some real positives in the second half. Showed good character there. Summerville and Dean the stand outs. Was hoping for a bit more from Greenwood though— Josh Hobbs (@JoshAHobbs) August 4, 2021
Leeds went straight up the other end, Greenwood played Summerville in behind and he rounded the keeper but his touch was heavy and he was tackled and had to settle for a corner. Greenwood played in Summerville again with 15 minutes to go but the winger was denied by a good save.
Max Dean had a late chance, Summerville had a shot deflected over after good pressing, and Ajax had a few dangerous breaks, before Max Dean won a penalty with an excellent piece of skill. Dean scored the penalty to get Leeds the goal that they deserved, although Ajax deserved the win.