Erik Ten Hag's Ajax lose KNVB Cup final as future Red Devils boss misses out on trophy
Manchester United bound manager Erik ten Hag has missed out on winning more silverware. Ajax were defeated by rivals PSV Eindhoven in the KNVB Cup final, losing 2-1.
Ryan Gravenberch scored the opening goal in the first half to set Ajax on the path towards victory, or so it seemed. They had a goal disallowed just before half-time, before PSV flipped the tie on it’s head.
Two goals from PSV early in the second half from Erick Gutierrez and Cody Gakpo gave PSV a 2-1 lead. Ajax then had another goal ruled out for offside by VAR, and then hit the post too.
Despite enjoying most of the attacking pressure and having another effort saved on the line, Ajax could not find an equaliser to send the game to extra time.
Ten Hag had gone into the game while making some bold calls and having to deal without injured winger Antony, who picked up a knock on international duty with Brazil.
Ten Hag dropped his regular striker and goalkeeper for the fixture. Andre Onana was replaced in goal by veteran Maarten Stekelenberg.
He also left out top goalscorer Sebastien Haller, selecting Brian Brobbey in his place. Haller came on wiht 18 minutes to go, replacing right-back Mazraoui as Ten Hag reshuffled tactically.
The game was due to be the first step in Ajax’s attempts to win the double, with Ten Hag’s side five points clear at the top of the Eredivise.
Ajax are still favoured to win the title, but they have to respond well to this defeat and restore momentum as Ten Hag looks to add more silverware to his, and Ajax’s trophy cabinet.
Before the final he had already won the Dutch Cup twice and the Eredivisie title twice. Now he has just on more chance to add to that number, with the league title this year still up for grabs.
The Telegraph report Ten Hag has an agreement in place with Manchester United to become the club’s next manager, which is just pending confirmation.