Ajax posts solid win in The Hague



Ajax remains undefeated in the Eredivisie.  Erik ten Hag’s team won its 9th competition game on Sunday afternoon.  At ADO Den Haag, the Ajax players posted a 0-2 win thanks to an early goal by Klaas Jan Huntelaar and a late one from David Neres.

Ajax was very business-like in The Hague.  The playing wasn’t great, but at the same time, the victory was never in danger.  Thanks to these three points, Ajax brings its point total to 23, 3 more than PSV.  The Eindhoven team will play later today at home against VVV Venlo.

Huntelaar starts, Álvarez on the bench
Erik ten Hag had made one change after the stunning win in Valencia.  Huntelaar got a starting spot at the expense of Edson Álvarez.

The experienced Huntelaar didn’t waste his coach’s confidence.  The striker scored the opening goal in the 10th minute.  The goal was credited to Huntelaar, but can also largely be attributed to Ziyech.  The left-footed player dribbled the ball from the right side and delivered the ball to the Ajax striker, who made good: 0-1.

Ziyech spurs on team mates
Ziyech was the most outstanding player of the opening minutes.  Not only because of his prep work on the 0-1 goal, but also because of his play from the minute before.  Ziyech was clearly unhappy with Ajax’s slow start and spurred his team mates on to give more.

Ajax had grabbed the desired lead early on.  This turned out to be the start of a very open first half, in which both teams were dangerous.  ADO had good opportunities via Michiel Kramer (stopped by Andre Onana) and Crysencio Summerville (shot into side net).  But by far, most of the opportunities were Ajax’s.

Many opportunities unconverted
In the 36th minute, Ajax even charged towards the keeper with 2 players, after a huge mistake by ADO’s defense.  Promes selflessly sent a pass accross to Ziyech, who, via the body of ADO keeper Luuk Koopmans, hit the post.  Ajax thus failed to double its lead, something in which Sergiño Dest, Ziyech and Promes also failed to do in the first half.

Less show in the second half
As open as the first half was, the second half was very tight.  There was very little danger of scoring and Ajax barely managed any shots on goal.  The score remained 0-1 for a long time, reason enough to give ADO some hope.  The home team brought in Tomas Necid, a second, very tall, forward.

But no closing attack came from the home team.  Four minutes before time, Ajax increased its lead to 0-2 via a fast counter.  Via Donny van de Beek and Ziyech, the ball ended up with Neres, who convincingly pulled the trigger.  The win wasn’t the result of great playing, but it was in the pocket.  And the points count just the same!