A week in which Ajax defeated NEC and Heracles Almelo, ended with a 2-0 win against FC Twente in Enschede on Saturday. Coach Marco van Basten and Javier Martina, who made his debut, both had reasons to be pleased.
,,I saw a team with players who fought for each other today. And if you defeat Twente here, you can be pleased’’, Ajax coach Van Basten said. In two away games in four days (Ajax won at Heracles on Wednesday) his team not only won six points, but also gave itself a morale boost by proving that matches can also be won outside the Amsterdam ArenA.
But, like last Wednesday, it was not easy in Enschede. In the visits to the two clubs from the east of Holland, Ajax had to give a maximum effort. ,,Everybody worked hard’’, Van Basten said. ,,That is also very satisfying.’’ Striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar was one of the examples of the team's work ethic. ,,That cost him a lot of energy. That is why I took off Klaas Jan in the second half.’’ Evander Sno replaced the captain as the team's centre forward. ,,Evander played well’’, Van Basten said.
Rasmus Lindgren ended all doubts with his goal in added time. The Swedish midfielder finished a counter attack with a lob over goalkeeper Sander Boschker. Until then, Ajax had been clinging to a 1-0 lead. Siem de Jong scored five minutes before halftime.
Javier Martina's first official appearance in Ajax 1 lasted an hour. The winger played a big part in Ajax's first goal. He crossed to De Jong from the end line. ,,After that cross, I was relieved’’, Martina said. ,,I was a little tense in the beginning. I tried to play my own game, but still. After the goal, I realised that I had helped the team get the lead. That felt good.’’
After the match it became clear that Ajax also had done well in the league table. The team is now in second place, with as many points as leaders AZ and number three NAC: 19. AZ have a better goal difference.