On Sunday, Kasper Dolberg was Ajax’s top scorer, setting the tone for the home game against NEC. With a clean hat trick, the striker showed his team the way to victory. Ajax left NEC hopeless, winning the competition match easily, 5-0. Bertrand Traoré and Lasse Schöne scored the other goals.
Ajax’s former top striker Ruud Geels and the other 49.520 spectators in the ArenA, are sure to have enjoyed watching Ajax play and Dolberg’s goals. Just like his fellow spectators, the top scorer from the seventies saw Ajax’s newest centre forward strike gold three times before halftime. Especially the 1-0 and 3-0 were loaded with pure football finesse.
In the 19th minute, Lasse Schöne served his centre forward with a subtle curve ball. Dolberg was surrounded by three NEC players, but he controlled the ball masterfully. In fact, the way in which he protected the ball, as well as the way he rounded off the play – with a clean shot – both deserve to be called masterful. Dolberg’s play could even be called a masterpiece.
Five minutes later, he struck gold again. For the 2-0 goal, it was mostly the prep work by several Ajacieds that was outstanding. Finally, the ball landed right at Dolberg’s feet, via Hakim Ziyech and Davy Klaassen. The Danish super-talent was able to score easily. Captain Klaassen had been honoured prior to the match for the 150 games that he has now played with Ajax 1.
Dolberg completed his clean hat trick before halftime. This time, left back Daley Sinkgraven made the assist. With a backwards header – amazingly executed with the back of his head – Dolberg slammed the ball fantastically past the hopeless NEC goalie Joris Delle. Dolberg’s guard, Dario Dumic, was just as powerless in the face of the centre forward’s amazing feat.
Title of honour
The home game was thus decided after only 38 minutes. So was the choice of Man of the Match. This couldn’t be anybody other than the Dane. Before the break, Dolberg had not only ensured himself of this title of honour; after the match, he also received the adidas match ball to take home.
Ajax – NEC was undoubtedly centre forward Kasper Dolberg’s match. Incidentally, he didn’t return from the last interland period injury-free. Fortunately, the Dane had recovered in time for when Eredivisie play resumed. He also ensured himself of a spot in the record books. At 19 years and 45 days of age, he’s the youngest foreign Ajacied with a hat trick to his name.
Dolberg did a great service to both himself and his club by playing an incredible game and scoring an impressive number of goals. The evening before, contender PSV had squandered two points by playing to a scoreless tie against Willem II. Ajax's lead on the current champion’s lead could potentially be increased. Ajax succeeded in doing that. After thirteen rounds of play, the Amsterdam team’s lead is now four points. Leader Feyenoord’s game at home against PEC Zwolle only started after Ajax – NEC. The Ajacieds ended their football afternoon as the temporary leader. With one more game played, the Ajacieds were one point ahead of their competitors from Rotterdam.
After the break, Ajax continued on the winning path. Ten minutes into the second half, right forward Traoré was successful in sending the ball into the far corner: 4-0. Two minutes later, midfield controller Schöne added his goal to the mix. The Dane scored with a very effective long-distance shot. Schöne gave his 300th match in Dutch professional football some extra cachet with this goal. The midfielder reached this milestone after playing for Ajax, NEC and De Graafschap. After Schöne’s 5-0, a hopeful ten-ten-ten rang out through the ArenA.
Unfortunately, Ajax didn’t reach double digits, even though the Amsterdam team had more than half an hour. Ajax remained faultless and had a great dress rehearsal for the UEFA Europa League against Panathinaikos, which will take place on Thursday in the ArenA. The Ajacieds have already qualified for the next EL round.
The fans will definitely be excited to watch their Ajacieds’ upcoming football feats. Perhaps, most of all, they will look forward to seeing the next feats of top shooter Kasper Dolberg.
Tickets Ajax – Panathinaikos
Ajax – Panathinaikos kicks off on Thursday at 19:00 in the Amsterdam ArenA. Order your tickets via the link below.