Frank de Boer didn’t have much to complain about in terms of the game’s result or the Ajacieds’ work ethic in the 0-2 win against sc Heerenveen. The Amsterdamners drew even of PSV in terms of points and, based on a better goal balance (+6), remain in first place of the Eredivisie.
Ajax battled for all it was worth on Wednesday evening in the lively Abe Lenstra Stadium. After a tentative, anxious and imprecise game against FC Utrecht (2-2), the Ajacieds were certainly not faultless in Heerenveen, either. But their enthusiastic work ethic and willingness to make sacrifices made up for a lot. Arek Milik’s ferocious extinguishing of a Fries offensive play in the final minutes betrayed an unquenchable thirst to win.
“I’m a satisfied coach. We controlled the entire match”, said Frank de Boer in retrospect in Heerenveen’s press room. “Heerenveen’s only good opportunity, which was that header from Mitchell Te Vrede, was properly caught by Jasper.”
“Our execution could have been better, which is what I told the guys during halftime. Ajax had the most opportunities, and the best ones. We didn’t give anything away and we played the match out professionally. I’m satisfied with how this match went.” After a scoreless first half, the Ajacieds struck twice in the second half.
Thulani Serero replaced youngster Riechedly Bazoer at midfield. The South-African made a strong impression, despite the relatively little playing time he’s had this season. “Serero was impressive tonight”, De Boer noticed as well. “Thulani is a true professional, who never backs down in training. Riechedly is having a rougher time right now. Thulani can step in. He is performing well. That’s why I chose Thulani. He did great.” De Haan was in agreement with De Boer. “He had an excellent teacher”, joked the former coach of Ajax Cape Town, where Serero comes from. De Haan’s comment drew laughter from the crowd.
Well- rewarded work
Before the journey home, Ajax had the chance to sum up the evening. The visitors were rewarded for their work in the Abe Lenstra Stadium. The Amsterdam team did itself a double service, with two competition matches left. This win gives the team confidence and keeps Ajax in the pole position in this thrilling championship race.