Ajax is the champion!

Ajax is the champion!

Ajax is the Dutch champion! In the sold out Amsterdam ArenA, Willem II was defeated 5-0 on Sunday. The Amsterdam team thus won its 32nd national championship. Moreover, Frank de Boer and his Ajax players won the triple, their third national title in a row. After the championship match, a celebration burst out in Amsterdam.

It’s only the third triple in Ajax’s history. After Rinus Michels (1966-1967-1968) and Louis van Gaal (1994-1995-1996), De Boer also succeeded in winning three straight championships. The current Ajax coach has just joined an exclusive club. De Boer is the first at Ajax to win the triple both as a player and as a coach.

Kolbeinn Sigthórsson put Ajax on the right path towards winning its 32nd title. The Ajax centre forward gave his team a great start by striking in the twelfth minute. The Icelander was served to perfection by his right winger Ryan Babel. Funnily enough, it was the two Ajax players who had had a difficult year physically who brought Ajax into an early 1-0 lead.

The whole first half saw one-way traffic towards David Meul’s goal. Christian Eriksen (shot wide, one attempt went across), Sigthórsson (side net) had great opportunities before the break. It was finally Eriksen who put the Amsterdam into a comfortable 2-0 lead. After a foul by defender Kees van Buuren on Siem de Jong, who had almost broken through, Eriksen was allowed to take a free kick. The Danish midfielder shot the ball into the Tilburg goal directly, although it did seem that Siem de Jong made contact with the ball on its way in. De Jong’s feat from the past two seasons, when he scored (twice) in the championship match, hadn’t (yet) been repeated. Midway through the match – Ajax’s last on for this season – the mission seemed to be fulfilled.

Viktor Fischer’s 3-0 (assist from Babel again), in addition to padding the lead, also launched a celebration. The young Dane was able to just tick in the ball. Fischer’s goal was a sign for the F-Side to roll out an enormous banner. After some nice manifestations earlier on from VAK 410, a gigantic 2012-2013 championship trophy appeared. The trophy was thus in Ajax hands even before Danny Makkelie’s final whistle and before the official moment of celebration. In the lively red and white ArenA, Willem II – who has been struggling in the Eredivisie’s 18th place for almost the entire season - didn’t have much to contribute in the second half of the game either.

Siem de Jong continued his excellent habit of scoring in championship matches against Willem II. The captain helped his team and club in the final minutes with a fourth goal. On an Eriksen corner, the ball lobbed via De Jong’s body into the goal. Messy as it was, the 4-0 score graced the scoreboard. The championship duel was thus one for facts and figures. De Jong scored his 50th goal as an Ajax player, and Ajax won its 750th home game with a convincing score. The third triple and the 32nd national title in club history completed the list of facts.

Substitute Danny Hoesen gave the victory extra cachet with his goal (5-0). Shortly after the fifth and last Ajax goal of the afternoon, the championship party definitely broke loose in the ArenA. ‘And that’s three...going on 4 in a row’ was the hopeful and promising text that was rolled out by VAK 410. Who know what great things Ajax has in store next season.

Joy and sadness were both close at hand on Sunday afternoon in the sold-out Amsterdam ArenA. As the Ajax players celebrated their championship, the Tilburg team mourned the loss of their status in the Eredivisie. Willem II has been degraded and will play in the Jupiler League next season. It’s the first time in history of the Eredivisie that both a championship and a degradation have been decided by the
same match. Frank de Boer’s championship selection, understandably, didn’t worry about their opponent’s misfortune for very long. The bottles and cans of Jupiler beer found their way into the locker room after the celebration on the field – at least with the Ajax players.