Ajax’s home game against Cambuur wasn’t very noteworthy. Dedication for one half resulted in an easy 5-1 win. The Amsterdam team thus contributed to the Fries team’s threat of degradation.
The statistics didn’t offer Cambuur much hope beforehand. The Fries club has never left Amsterdam with a win in their pocket. Their best achievement ever was a 1-1 draw, two seasons ago. Last year, Ajax won in the ArenA 3-0. Early on Saturday evening, it became clear that Cambuur would also go home empty handed this season. The degradation thus became a real worry for Henk de Jong’s team.
Even without the injured Riechedly Bazoer, Daley Sinkgraven and Anwar El Ghazi, the home game against the Fries team didn’t create problems. Five Ajax goals drove external worries, such as extra security measures and dissatisfaction over the execution of the Cruijff Plan, to the background. Protest from VAK410 and the F-Side – the most fanatical fans remained out of their seats for the first half – were loud and clear, but didn’t bring down the atmosphere in the stadium. Ajax did what it needed to do on the eve of the critical UEFA League away game against Celtic.
Midway through Ajax’s thirteenth competition match of 2015-2016, a big 4-1 lead was already on the Ziggo scoreboards. Joel Veltman opened the score in the 25th minute with a header. The defender was served a perfect assist by Nemanja Gudelj. Two minutes later, Cambuur had tied the game against the home team. Fudjel Narsingh came up on the right, after which Sander van de Streek sent a header past Jasper Cillessen. Four minutes later in the one-sided match, Arek Milik restored order. The Pole scored with a header: 2-1. Nemanja Gudelj, the man of the assist, scored this time from a corner.
The fact that Ajax came through the 36th minute unscathed was very fortunate. This was the minute in which the visitors came dangerously close to an upset. First Van de Streek shot just wide. Wessel Dammers sent the the brand new Beau Jeu Adidas ball against the crossbar a few minutes later with a hard header. Ajax wasn’t thrown off: the home team continued to play as if nothing had happened.
Two minutes after Dammers’ header, Davy Klaassen increased Ajax’s lead. Ajax’s captain was served a high pass from right back Kenny Tete. With a spot on shot, the blond Ajacied scored the first non-header goal of the evening. Right before the break, Klaassen scored again. The captain indirectly cashed in on a corner: 4-1.
After the break, Cambuur’s only approach could be to control the damage. De Jong’s plagued team – only De Graafschap has a poorer performance so far this season in the Eredivisie – is still looking for its first Eredivisie win after fourteen games. After Saturday’s painful loss, the count is now fifteen games.
Amin Younes sank the Fries team deeper into their misery. The German picked up a long ball from Veltman, after which Younes passed keeper Leonard Nienhuis and shot the ball into the goal coolly: 5-1. With the youngest player (substitute Vaclav Cerny) and the oldest (substitute John Heitinga) also on field, Ajax was always one step ahead of Cambuur. A sixth goal unfortunately didn’t come. Despite that, the Ajacieds can prepare for their trip to Scotland with confidence.
Frank de Boer:
“After the 2-1, we kept control, although Cambuur had a few good opportunites” , said Frank de Boer, looking back with satisfaction. “I’m pleased with how we played. Especially when Thursday’s important match is waiting for us. We can be pleased with the 5-1 score.” Cambuur coach Henk de Jong said: “ We deserved this loss. The 5-1 was earned, it is the rightful score of this match.”