On historic soil, Ajax easily reached the third round of the KNVB Cup. In the Olympic Stadium, JOS Watergraafsmeer was defeated 0-9. Within a four-minute period in the first half, the game had basically been decided: Ajax scored its first three goals between the 22nd and 26th minutes. Arek Milik was the hero for Ajax, scoring six goals.
The place where Ajax had had such success in the past was the site of this official away match. Eighteen years after Ajax defeated Panathinaikos to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League, the Olympic Stadium was once again a beautiful setting. Frank de Boer had given a few steady players a night off, meaning that Diederik Boer celebrated his birthday by making his debut in an Ajax jersey. Another interesting fact was that Nick Viergever was on left back, while Jairo Riedewald stood at midfield.
From the first whistle, Ajax left no room for doubt that it wanted to decide the match quickly. After a few minutes, Davy Klaassen could have scored, but the keeper stopped his shot. After opportunities for Stefano Denswil and Arek Milik, the Amsterdam storm died down temporarily, but it resurged again when Ajax scored three times in four minutes. First it was Milik who punished a mistake from keeper Dijkstra. Then Lucas Andersen scored after a long rush, and two minutes later, Milik struck again on a pass from Ricardo Kishna.
During the break, Klaassen was taken out and Queensy Menig, making his Ajax 1 debut, came in. JOS sought an honourary goal, but their one great opportunity right after the break didn’t bear fruit. After fifteen minutes in the second half, Ajax shifted gears again. Milik took a shot into the lower corner, scoring his third goal of the evening. One minute later, he sent the ball to Kishna, who scored the 0-5 goal. Several minutes later, it was Menig who crowned his turn as a substitute with a goal, scoring on a pass from Viergever.
Milik had the final word, scoring a hat trick in six minutes, and bringing the score to 0-9, where it would remain. They were three very similar goals, as the Pole was in the perfect position each time on the rebound. He was rightfully named Man of the Match with six goals under his belt.
All in all, Frank de Boer was satisfied with the team’s performance, although he would have liked to see double digits: “Beforehand, I said that we needed to post a double digit win. At times, the ball pace was too low, but as soon as the tempo increased, the ball was passed around nicely. I’m also pleased with Menig and Boer’s debut. Menig scored, and Boer ‘scored’ too with a good save which meant he kept a clean sheet.”
It was great for De Boer to be back in the Olympic Stadium. “It was fantastic to play here again. Now and again, I thought back to the great games I’ve played here with Ajax. It would be nice if we could play some friendlies here during the pre-season once in a while.”