Klaassen brings Ajax to victory in Friesland

Klaassen brings Ajax to victory in Friesland

Ajax continues on its winning path.  At sc Heerenveen, Peter Bosz’s team was too strong for the hosts, 0-1.  Davy Klaassen scored the winning goal twenty minutes before time.  Later in the day, Feyenoord squandered two points in Utrecht (3-3), which means that Ajax and Feyenoord now have an equal number of points after fourteen rounds of play.

Klaassen’s goal was worth its weight in gold.   Ajax’s number 10 once again proved his worth with his eighth goal of the season.  Ajax thus ended the afternoon on a successful note.  The team’s hard work against a strong Heerenveen was rewarded with three points.

Trusted names
In Friesland, Peter Bosz went with the trusted names from recent games.  That meant that the line-up was practically the same as last week’s against NEC.  The players who had received a break for the midweek game against Panathinaikos all returned for kick-off of this game.  Among them was Kasper Dolberg (who had demonstrated his great class against NEC with his hat trick) and the recovered Hakim Ziyech.  The Moroccan had lost some weight last week due to his illness, but he had recovered in time for the match against the club where he had attended the academy and kicked off his professional career four seasons ago.

Balanced first half
In the first half hour of the relatively balanced first half, there were a few small opportunities here and there.  It was only afterwards that both Ajax and the home team both became dangerous.  Dolberg had a good opportunity at the opening goal in the 32nd minute, but he shot the ball, on a pass from Amin Younes, over the goal from nearby.  Two minutes later, Pelle van Amersfoort took a nice long-distance shot on behalf of Heerenveen.  Andre Onana’s stylish save earned as much applause as the blazing shot had in the sold-out Abe Lenstra Stadium.

Just before the break, Davy Klaassen had the perfect opportunity to score the 1-0 goal.  The captain sent the ball hard and high towards the Heerenveen goal, but keeper Erwin Mulder made an outstanding save of his own, preventing an Ajax goal.  About fifteen minutes later, it was Ajax that again came close to scoring a goal.  In the second minute of the second half, Ziyech curved a free kick just past the outside of the post.

Chance for Younes
It wasn’t until midway through the second half that there was some excitement in Heerenveen.  Amin Younes had – on a pass from Klaassen – an unmissable opportunity.  The German shot the ball over the goal.  After Ajax’s number 11 had missed his opportunity, Heerenveen’s number 11 had a good one in that same minute.  Sam Larsson found Onana in his way.

A few minutes after the danger in front of both goals, Ajax struck in the 71st minute.  Substitute Donny van de Beek brought Klaassen into position with a good pass.  The Ajax captain remained patient and worked the ball through keeper Mulder’s legs with his right foot: 0-1.  With this, he kept Ajax’s series of goals in Heerenveen intact.  For the twentieth straight season, Ajax scored in Heerenveen in a competition match.

Competition debut De Ligt
In the final minutes, Matthijs de Ligt played his first Eredivisie minutes.  After his making debuts earlier this season in the Jupiler League, KNVB Cup and UEFA Europa League, the 17 year-old defender added another milestone to his already impressive CV.

The only blemish on the afternoon was the yellow card received by Klaassen right at the end.  The international went down in the penalty kick area and was awarded a yellow card instead of a penalty.  He will miss this weekend’s upcoming home game against FC Groningen.