Ajax has won its home game against Heracles by 4-1. Now the team’s focus can shift to Wednesday’s important away game at Lille.
The game against Heracles wasn’t as simple as some had predicted, at least at the start. Heracles drew courage from its recent statistics against the Ajax; the Amsterdam has only won 1 of its last 4 games against Heracles. Coach Frank Wormuths’s team started out with gusto and surprised the home team on a few occasions. This didn’t result in any goals for the Almelo team, however, thanks in part to Andre Onana’s good keeping, but Ajax also failed to take advantage of opportunities.
Promes opens score
But that changed in the 26th minute. A beautiful attack over the right side found Quincy Promes thanks to an outstanding pass by Hakim Ziyech. Just like at the game at Chelsea, the forward scored with a header: 1-0. It was his 9th Eredivisie goal of this season. The rest of the first half was rife with sloppiness by both teams, and Ajax could count itself lucky with the 1-0 score at halftime.
In the second half, Ajax was better than Heracles and from kick-off, was on the hunt to double its lead. After many opportunities, the team struck gold in the 56th minute. Daley Blind made a good pass to Zakaria Labyad, who, after performing well in trainings, friendlies and the last game against Utrecht, was finally rewarded with a goal.
Four minutes later, the score was 3-0. Once again, it was the Ziyech/Promes tandem that met with success and Ajax could sit back on its laurels somewhat, knowing that the Lille game would be coming on Wednesday. A setback before the game was that Mazraoui was sidelined. In the coming days, it will hopefully become more clear what the issue is with the Moroccan Ajax player, and whether he will be able to play in France.
Sergiño Dest thought he has scored Ajax’s 4th goal in the final minutes. The ball was touched on its way to the goal, so whether it gets attributed to him remains to be seen. Klaas Jan Huntelaar is also credited by some for the goal….in the final minutes, a mistake by the U.S. international was taken advantage of by Cyriel Dessers, who scored Heracles’ only goal: 4-1.