Ajax ended its visit to Cambuur with a win. After a slow start, Ajax ended up having a relatively easy afternoon in Leeuwarden: 2-4. Arek Milik scored two goals, Davy Klaassen and Anwar El Ghazi also scored on the artificial turf in Friesland.
Two days after the announcement around new main sponsor Ziggo, Ajax was in Leeuwarden for the match against SC Cambuur. Compared to the Champions League match against FC Barcelona, Frank de Boer had made one change to his squad. Arek Milik started instead of Kolbeinn Sigthórsson, who has produced four of Ajax’s last five goals away. Frank de Boer expected Milik to do better on the artificial turf better than Sigthórsson. The two goals he scored proved that this was a good decision.
The match started off sloppily for Ajax. Only one minute and 15 seconds were on the clock when Ajax’s first goal against was on the board. Ricardo van Rhijn played the ball back badly, after which Jasper Cillessen was only able to half reach the ball. A great opportunity for Cambuur was the consequence. On a pass from Furdjet Narsingh, Sebastian Steblecki mercilessly doled out punishment for Ajax’s mistake. Later on, Bartholomew Ogbech had a good opportunity, but Cillessen made the save.
Ajax’s bad start didn’t haunt the team for very long. Midway through the first half, the deficit had already been transformed into a lead. Milik tied the game in the 19th minute, rewarding De Boer’s faith in him. After a long pass from Nicolai Boilesen, the Pole shot the ball soundly into the near corner. Four minutes later, Davy Klaassen scored Ajax’s second goal. The blond number 10 rounded off a great attack – via Lasse Schöne and Milik – with a goal.
Because Ajax failed to score a third goal before the break, Cambuur slowly became hopeful again. Especially when an attack by the home team in the first half’s extra time curiously hit the underside of the crossbar. Thanks to that post, the tying goal didn’t happen. But it revealed Cambuur’s ambitions, and made it clear that there are good reasons that the team is playing with the big boys this season.
The third Ajax goal came fifteen minutes into the second half. Once again, it was Milik who pulled the trigger. After a great attack, Anwar El Ghazi made the pass and Milik scored the goal. It was his fifth competition goal in six games.
The 1-3 score provided some breathing room. With a margin of two goals, the guests could calmly go hunting for more. But Cambuur still appeared in front of Ajax’s goal once in a while. Ogbeche (overhead kick and header) was especially dangerous in seeking a goal.
Anwar El Ghazi crowned his afternoon with a goal before the end. The winger saw his shot go in- via a Cambuur defender- over keeper Nienhuis: 1-4. Added to his assist on the 1-3 goal, the youth international once again made a valuable contribution to this match.
In the closing phase, referee Makkelie was forced to leave the field with an injury. His replacement Edwin Boot put the ball on the point in the closing minutes after a foul by Moisander on Ogbeche. The Nigerian was thus able to score his goal, in the end. The Cambuur forward brought the score to 2-4. It wasn’t a big blow, as the game was already in the bag for Ajax. The internationals can thus travel to their national teams with a good feeling for the upcoming interland period. Ajax resumes competition play in two weeks with a home game against another Fries team: sc Heerenveen.