Ajax lost to Bulgarian side Ludogorets in the Johan Cruijff arena on Thursday. A goal by Matias Tissera gave the away side the victory. Ajax qualified for the Europa League on aggregate as they had won the first leg 4-1.
Ajax started the match without Steven Berghuis. Manager Maurice Steijn wanted to start Berghuis to give the midfielder some match fitness, but he is ill. Berghuis will serve the last match of his three-game suspension this weekend in the Eredivisie.
The Amsterdammers failed to impress in the first half and were whistled by the crowd in the Johan Cruijff Arena at halftime, having created no chances in the half. Ludogorets looked more comfortable in possession.
Ludogorets were lucky not to be down to ten men in the second after a wild, dangerous tackle by Marcel Heister on Carlos Borges was only punished with a yellow card by referee Ivan Kruzliak.
The Bulgarians took the lead after 61 minutes. Both substitutes combined as Dominik Yankov crossed the ball to Matias Tissera, who bundled it home. Ajax created their first real opportunity of the match after 71 minutes. Kenneth Taylor whipped a free kick into the box, which Jakov Medic headed over.
As opposed to what you would expect, Ajax did not trouble Ludogorets’s goal in a very disappointing display. New signings Chuba Akpom, Josip Sutalo, Gastón Ávila, and Georges Mikautadze were not eligible for this match but will be available for the away match against Fortuna Sittard this weekend, and there are not many players tonight who made a claim to keep their starting spot.
Ajax will discover their Europa League group-stage opponents tomorrow in the draw in Nyon, Switzerland.
https://nltimes.nl/2023/08/31/ajax-lose-ludogorets-home Ajax lose to Ludogorets at home