Ajax Coach Van Basten Proud Despite Marseille Defeat

The former Holland boss reflects on his side's UEFA Cup performance against Marseille...

Olympique de Marseille defended a 2-1 lead from the first leg, but it was all square after 90 minutes of play.A Tyrone Mears header in extra-time eventually ended Ajax's UEFA Cup dream, but manager Marco van Basten was still quite satisfied.

"I can't be satisfied with the result and the elimination. However, we played a good match and I think this was one of our best games this campaign. I can only be proud after a heroic match like this," he told NOS.

"We created a lot of chances and caused a European giant like Marseille all kinds of trouble. Too bad we didn't convert one of those changes though. We simply lacked the luck to progress to the next round.

"We made a good start to the match and grabbed a deserved lead. Nevertheless, they immediately pegged one back because of our sloppy defending. We restored our lead after the break, but it was all over after the 2-2 in extra-time.

"It's extremely disappointing that we missed our last chance to grab some silverware. However, the match against Marseille has made it clear that the future's bright for Ajax. I'm full of confidence for the future."

Stefan Coerts, Goal.com