After 5 years, Ajax is once again in the finals of the TOTO KNVB Cup. They defeated Feyenoord by 0-3 in Rotterdam. Matthijs de Ligt, Nico Tagliafico and Donny van de Beek scored the goals in de Kuip in this amazing football night for Ajax.
Coach Erik ten Hag had changed his starting line-up in one place compared to the win against ADO Den Haag. Lasse Schöne returned to the squad, at the expense of Kasper Dolberg.
It was a special game for Schöne. He became the foreign player with the most games played in Ajax 1. The Dane had equaled the record on Sunday, but now became its sole owner.
Matthijs de Ligt was also celebrating a milestone. He was playing his 100th duel in Ajax 1, and he’s the youngest Ajacied ever to join the Club of 100.
Opening phase for Feyenoord
Ajax posted a convincing win, but the game didn’t start out in the team’s favour. After 7 minutes, the first serious opportunity of the game was for Feyenoord. Via a cross-pass by Robin van Persie, Sam Larsson came one on one with Andre Onana, but the Swede shot onto the post. Not even two minutes later, the Rotterdam team created danger again. This time it was Van Persie who had an open shot, but De Ligt blocked it well.
After 20 minutes of play, Ajax got going. First, it was Donny van de Beek, whose shot,via Cuco Martina, went wide. A few minutes later, Mazraoui came close to scoring the 0-1 goal. The right back sent a header one meter wide of Kenneth Vermeer.
The first half became more evenly matched, and the first goal came in its last minute of official time. After a sturdy tackly by Jordy Clasie, Tadic was the last to touch the ball. Despite that, Hakim Tadic took the corner and it was captain De Ligt who sent the ball past Vermeer at lightning speed with his header: 0-1. The central defender scored his 10th goal in his anniversary game.
Ajax continued well in the second half. It was once again a corner that was at the root of a goal. After a rejected corner and mediocre defending by Feyenoord, it was Tagliafico who scored the 0-2. The Argentinian was ecstatic, as were the other Ajacieds.
The Amsterdam party wasn’t over, because after 65 minutes, Van de Beek scored a great goal, and put the final nail in Feyenoord’s coffin. Ajax continued masterfully for the remainder of the game, qualifying for the cup finals for the first time since 2014.