Ajax has tough time in Zwolle



Ajax had some difficulty beating PEC Zwolle in Friday night’s Eredivisie game.  in the MAC³PARK Stadium, the final score was 2-4.  Quincy Promes score the first two goal, and David Neres score the others for the Amsterdam team.

Thanks to the win in MAC³PARK Stadium, Ajax has increased its lead on its closest Eredivisie competitors to 9 points, at least for one day.  Contenders PSV and AZ play on Saturday, and Vitesse plays on Sunday.

Ajax made a fantastic start to the game.  After just a few minutes, Hakim Ziyech took a hard shot from the left side of the penalty kick area.  Unfortunately, no Ajacied was able to send the ball into the goal.

Shortly after the game’s first opportunity, Ajax did make good.  From the edge of the box, Donny van de Beek played to Mazraoui, who had just freed himself up on the right.  His shot wasn’t cleared properly by Zwolle keeper Xavier Mous.  As a result, Promes scored on the rebound, his 7th goal of this still young Eredivisie season, and Ajax’s first of the game.

A scarce five minutes later, Promes brought the 500 Ajax fans in the crowd to their feet.  After a clean pass from Ziyech, the forward sent the 0-2 goal in with a header.  But Ajax was still hungry.  The Amsterdam team continued to apply pressure to PEC Zwolle and had the most possession.

Video referee checks 3rd goal
The 0-3 goal followed another fluid Ajax attack.  It was again Ziyech who assessed Neres’ move very well.  After the Brazilian player had gained control of the ball and sent it over keeper Mous, he was able to send it into the goal on two occasions.

It was only after 25 minutes that PEC had its first opportunity of the game.  It was a big one straight away.  Reza Ghoochannejhad sent a header from about 5 meters out towards the Ajax goal.  Onana was in position and his stealthy reflex, and a bit of help from another Ajacied, prevented a goal against.

Goal against
Just before the break, Ajax faced a setback in the form of Lisandro Martinez’s early exit.  At the beginning of the game, he had been shoved by Gustavo Hamer, who received a yellow card.  The same player, Hamer, is the one who scored the 1-3 goal just before halftime.  He intercepted a broad pass from Edson Álvarez, who had come in for Martinez.  He didn’t falter when he came face to face with Onana.

With Hamer’s goal in the pocket, the home team played more energetically.  Ajax retained control of the game, and went into halftime with a 1-3 lead.

Ajax continued to apply pressure on Mous’  goal in the second half.  Dusan Tadic came up just a bit short of scoring the 1-4 goal on a pass from Mazraoui.  PEC Zwolle had an opportunity to score the 2-3 goal via Mustafa Saymak early in the second half.  His shot bounced off Onana’s fists.

It was Saymak’s first opportunity; shortly after, the player became more important in the game.  First he just missed a shot into the near corner for the Zwolle team, after having freed himself up by the second post.  Later on, he scored the 2-3 goal.

Offside, no 3-3
Ajax then faltered.  Álvarez needed to be substituted after receiving a bloddy lip in a duel against Saymak.  PEC Zwolle seemed to be heading towards 3-3 when Van Crooy found the free Saymak.  The midfielder apparently turned the game upside down with his 3-3 goal.  The referee, however, had seen that Van Crooy had been offside at the start of the attack.

With 20 minutes left on the clock, Ajax again had a setback when Van de Beek was also forced to the sidelines.  Razvan Marin came in for him.  it wasn’t until the very final minutes that Ajax truly secured the win.  It was once again Ziyech who saw the free Neres.  From about 5 meters out, he was able to slide the ball into the empty goal: 2-4.

PEC Zwolle - Ajax 2-4 (1-3). 6. Promes 0-1, 11. Promes 0-2, 20. Neres 0-3. 35. Hamer 1-3, 57. Saymak 2-3, 88. Neres 2-4

Line-up Ajax: Onana, Mazraoui, Veltman, Blind, Martínez (28. Álvarez/63. Gravenberch), Van de Beek (72. Marin), Ziyech, Promes, Tadic, Neres