Vurnon Anita's 87th minute goal gave Dutch champions AFC Ajax a 2-1 win in this afternoon's friendly match against D.C. United in front of 10,728 at RFK Stadium.
With United appearing to be headed for a very deserved draw, Anita stole the ball off the foot of Fred near the halfway line, strolled unchallenged into United's penalty area, and slid the ball under Steve Cronin to give Ajax the victory.
Ben Olsen made four changes to the D.C. United team after halftime, inserting Cronin for Bill Hamid in goal, Chris Korb in defense for Dejan Jakovic, Fred in midfield for Dax McCarty, and Brettschneider up front for Santino Quaranta. The moves nearly paid earlier dividends then they actually did, but Fred shot wide of Kenneth Vermeer's left post from about 10 yards out in the 51st minute. In the 55th minute, Brettscheider was presented with a chance from point-blank range, but Vermeer was able to get low to the ground to deny the young striker. Moments later, Andy Najar showed some of his skill with a daring run all the way from the right touchline to the left side of the Ajax six-yard box. However, Najar's final ball was overhit and flew harmlessly over the head of Joseph Ngwenya.
Like Ajax's goal in the first half, United's equalizer came off of a giveaway. This time, it was Ngwenya who pickpocketed Vurnon Anita after the defender dawdled on the ball for too long near his own goal. Ngwenya slid the ball over to Brettschenider, who popped the ball into the net from point-blank range.
Ajax had a golden opportunity to go back ahead in the 76th minute when substitute Lorenzo Ebecilio was put through on goal, but Cronin came off his line bravely and brilliantly to deny the striker. Brettschneider had a chance of his own to win the match in the 83rd minute, but he sent a header well over the crossbar.
Moments after Anita's goal, Brettschneider had a chance to rescue a draw for the home side after a free kick in the box was not properly dealt with, but his volleyed attempt sailed high and harmless over the bar.