The disappointing loss against FC Copenhagen still lingererd in the minds of many Ajax players in the match against NAC.
Ajax were visibly shaken up, but bounced back to win 2-1 in Breda, through two goals by Wesley Sneijder. It was not easy for Ajax this Sunday. Only rarely did the side show the good combination football it had displayed in the past weeks. But it was not only due to Ajax. NAC succeeded in making it very difficult for the visitors through physical play. A brutal tackle by Gert-Jan Tamerus on Roger's ankle and countless fouls on Klaas Jan Huntelaar were examples of the fighting spirit of the home team.
Huntelaar played an unlucky match. The striker produced a rare miss from the penalty spot, when substitute Angelos Charisteas had been brought down by Edwin de Graaf. ,,Huntelaar should get to the next phase in his development'', said coach Henk ten Cate. ,,There is nothing wrong with his form. Klaas Jan has to learn to live with the fact that he's the focus of all attention. Nobody wants him to score against them.''
Ten Cate recognised that his team had suffered a mental blow, after the Champions League exit at the hands of FC Copenhagen. ,,We never expected it'', the coach admitted. That match was a bit like today's game. NAC had one chance and scored.''
After a little over an hour into the match, NAC's captain De Graaf struck. The midfielder finished off a quick counter attack: 1-0. Ajax went through a difficult period before and shortly after the first goal and made it difficult on themselves by playing at too low a pace. Ten Cate: ,,But after the 1-0 we bounced back. When Klaas Jan missed the penalty, we were hoping that we could bounce back once more. Luckily, we did.''
After De Graaf's goal, Wesley Sneijder struck twice in a short space of time. The midfielder scored twice in almost identical fashion: a short dribble and a hard but precise shot from distance. Sneijder gave Ajax a 2-1 lead and the three points.
Ajax will derive confidence from the win. After defeating NAC, the team is still undefeated in Holland and many competitors already have dropped points this early in the season.