After another high-scoring edition of sc Heerenveen - Ajax (5-2), the Amsterdammers still await their first away win in the Eredivisie. Ajax coach Marco van Basten did not spare his team afterward.
Heerenveen put Ajax under pressure from the beginning. After the hectic first ten minutes, Ajax were down 2-0. Heerenveen went up 1-0 through an own goal by Bruno Silva, who was chased by Gerald Sibon. Four minutes later, Roy Beerens struck. And even more bad luck for Ajax followed, when it lost Eyong Enoh with a groin injury.
,,I have never before experienced such a hammering’’, coach Marco van Basten said. He was clearly disappointed with his players. ,,After the difficult start and the 2-0 deficit, the team did not react. That was very disappointing. As Ajax we should be ashamed for this performance. Heerenveen were simply better.’’
Dennis Rommedahl was brought on for Bruno Silva halfway through the match, and Ajax went on to play one on one in defence. Later Vurnon Anita replaced the disappointing Jan Vertonghen.
Early in the second half Gerald Sibon made matters worse for his former employer when he put away a cross by Grindheim. Then Danijel Pranjic gave Heerenveen a 4-0 lead from a penalty, after a foul by Jeffrey Sarpong. The Ajax players were reduced to mere spectators, with the exception of goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer. But Vermeer, first goalkeeper with both Maarten Stekelenburg and Dennis Gentenaar injured, can hardly have enjoyed his league debut for Ajax.
,,At halftime we agreed that we would set matters straight. And for a little while, it looked like we would. But after the 3-0 and 4-0, it was over. I am very disappointed. Incredible that we let them butcher us like that. I sometimes got the idea that these guys were playing in the rain for the first time'', Van Basten said.
A header by Dario Cvitanich seemed to finally get the visitors on track, but the goal was dubiously disallowed. But Van Basten did not want to make excuses. Ajax deserved to lose this Sunday. Goals by Klaas Jan Huntelaar (4-1, from a free kick) and Luis Suarez (penalty) came to late to change the tide. Gregory van der Wiel's second yellow, and therefore red, card was iconic for Ajax's performance. After Van der Wiel's foul, Pranjic made it 5-2. Vermeer saved his spot kick but he put away the rebound. ,,The season has 34 rounds'', Van Basten said. ,,We will have plenty of opportunities to fight back.''