Ajax better than RKC

After two bad matches against SC Heerenveen and FC Utrecht Ajax showed a better side against RKC Waalwijk and deservedly won 1-0. The team only had themselves to blame that the score was not higher, as Ajax had many chances. But at least there were three points won after two losses in a row.

Ronald Koeman had to make do without the suspended Wesley Sneijder, and the coach was also missing Maxwell and Yakubu who were sick and Hatem Trabelsi who was injured. Koeman went back to his system of before the winter break and posted Wesley Sonck as right winger next to Yannis Anastasiou, but with a lot of freedom to come inside to the goal.

With Sonck Ajax were less static than in the past weeks. The Belgian striker had to play on his less-favourite right-wing position, but he could be found everywhere and Sonck was dangerous a number of times and passed the ball well to his teammates.

From the first minute Ajax tried to test the uncertain goalkeeper Sinouh, but central midfielder Rafael van der Vaart's effort lacked the power to be successful. It was the story of the whole match. The visitors had plenty of opportunities to distance themselves from RKC, but were not accurate enough before the goal. Ajax did go into halftime with a lead. Olfers passed his own goalkeeper from a corner by Van der Vaart: 0-1.

Nicolae Mitea replaced Victor Sikora in the second half, and with the Romanian winger Ajax got faster on the left side. Mitea created some chances but was occsionally too selfish when Sonck was open before the goal. Koeman also brought on Jason Culina for Anastasiou and the Australian delivered a fine performance.

RKC came on strong late in the match and Ajax were occasionally dangerous too, but the score did not change. ,,Partiicularly in the first half I thought we played well'', Koeman said. The coach was also pleased by the performance of his midfielders Van der Vaart, Tomás Galásek and Nigel de Jong. ,,I have the idea that I would keep it like this, but Monday I had a line-up in my head with Maxwell and Trabelsi, and on Thursday those plans went out the window. So I am not saying anything about that now.''