Ajax has grabbed three points while visiting recently promoted RKC Waalwijk. Erik ten Hag’s team didn’t play a great game, but escaped with the win thanks to goals by Dusan Tadic and Quincy Promes: 1-2.
Ajax, with Noussair Mazraoui replacing the suspended Nico Tagliafico, was very poor. The national champion’s opportunities were few and far between. Quincy Promes sent a header straight into the hands of RKC keeper Etienne Vaessen, Hakim Ziyech curved the ball over the Brabant team’s goal, and Donny van de Beek was stopped just in time. In contrast, the home team had about seven opportunities to score.
Tadic breaks the stalemate
Ajax came out strong in the second half. Dusan Tadic scored the opening goal on a pass from Sergino Dest, 0-1. This was his sixth competition goal, after having scored in four consecutive games in he Eredivisie. After a double substitution (David Neres and Perr Schuurs vor Ziyech and Mazraoui), the home team restored order.
Said Bakari received the ball and outplayed Andre Onana with a precise shot: 1-1. RKC started to believe that an upset was possible, but the Amsterdam team struck again. Quincy Promes scored the liberating goal for Ajax in the 76th minute with a stunning shot which, via the underside of the crossbar, disappeared behind Vaessen: 1-2.
Hectic final minutes
The last-placed team did not give up and went full steam ahead in the final minutes. Darren Maatsen had a huge opportunity to score the tying goal, but Dest and Daley Blind miraculously helped the ball vanish over the Ajax goal. RKC created danger in extra time (6 minutes) but Ajax held on to its 1-2 win.
On Wednesday, the first-placed team will play again. Chelsea will be in Amsterdam for round 3 of the UEFA Champions League. The game against the London team starts at 18:55.