Ajax close in on second place

Ajax close in on second place

Ajax defeated Roda JC in Kerkrade (1-2) and gained two points on FC Twente, who are still in second place. Luis Suarez and Ismaïl Aissati scored for Ajax, who are now one point behind Twente.

Ajax began the match against Roda JC very well. After only two minutes, Luis Suarez gave his team the lead when he got rid of his defender Davy de Fauw and struck mercilessly: 0-1.
,,After such a quick goal, you hope that the team can finish off the opponent fast’’, Marco van Basten said. ,,But a quick second goal did not come, because we did not do well in transition. That went better in the second half and we were more dangerous. We did not finish off the chances, though, and that is why it was close for a long time.’’
Ajax had to keep a cool head in Kerkrade, where the supporters protested against a intended merger between Roda JC and Fortuna Sittard into Sporting Limburg. The team succeeded in that most of the time, although goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer had a difficult time after halftime. More and more broken seats landed in or around his goal area, but Vermeer kept his focus.
Ismaïl Aissati seemd to decide the match with his goal in the 66th minute. The midfielder finished off a quick Ajax attack and made it 0-2. ,,We were lucky to make it 0-2’’, Van Basten said. ,,We thought we had finished them off, but they quickly scored.’’
Aissati scored at a time when the home side had the better chances. A minute before Aissati's goal, Boldiszar Bodor hit the post, and before that Sekou Cissé had come close.
Cissé gave the home side hope when he escaped offside and struck in the 72nd minute. Ajax hung on to win three valuable points.
Jan Vertonghen returned to action after being out for some weeks with a hamstring tear. He replaced the excellent Suarez in the 77th minute.
Pieter Huistra made his debut as a member of the coaching staff against Roda JC. He temporarily replaces Rob Witschge, who ruptured his achilles tendon last Tuesday and had to undergo an operation.