Ajax have progressed to the third round of the KNVB Cup after a thrilling 5-4 victory over Utrecht.

Last season, Utrecht defeated Ajax in the KNVB Cup semi-finals and progressed to a final that would never be played. The two teams met again in the second round of this years competition. Erik ten Hag decided to hand Kjell Scherpen his debut in goal for the clash, while youngster Dyvene Rensch made his first start. Utrecht went with a full strength side.

Within the first two minutes, Utrecht were ahead as Mimoun Mahi took advantage of an error from Nicolas Tagliafico to fire past Scherpen.

Ajax equalised in the 8th minute with Dusan Tadic finding the net with a free-kick that was deflected by Mark van der Maarel.

The two sides then traded chances before Zakaria Labyad put Ajax ahead at the break. A lovely team move ended with Labyad firing past Eric Oelschlägel, who replaced an injured Marten Paes.

Two minutes into the second half, Mahi equalised for Utrecht after being set up by Gyrano Kerk. In the 54th minute, Ajax restored their lead as Antony’s strike deflected off Tommy St. Jago.

However, Utrecht rallied and Sander van de Streek equalised from a corner. With twenty minutes to go, Moussa Sylla made it 4-3 for the visitors, taking advantage of an error from Scherpen.

Ten minutes from time, Labyad rescued Ajax with the equaliser and in the last minute, Tadic scored the winner with a stunning strike.

Ajax progress to the third round while Utrecht will not be heading for the final this year.




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