Ajax moves on with cup win

Ajax moves on with cup win

Cup winner Ajax posted a straightforward win to reach the fourth round of the KNVB Cup. Martin Jol’s team defeated MVV 5-0 in the Amsterdam ArenA. Man of the Match Florian Jozefzoon scored his first goal for Ajax 1. Mounir El Hamdaoui scored twice.

Ajax did what it needed to do against MVV: stay focussed and win. With key matches coming up against FC Twente (Saturday) and AC Milan (Tuesday), this game against the Jupiler League’s number thirteen team proved to be a welcome break. The MVV players, who posed for photos beforehand, had little to cheer about in the ArenA. On Thursday, Ajax enters the draw for the fourth round of the national cup competition.

Martin Jol made several changes to the starting line-up. Steady starters Toby Alderweireld, Eyong Enoh and Vurnon Anita got a break. The suspended Luis Suarez was also absent. As a result, young players Florian Jozefzoon and Roly Bonevacia were both on the starting team for the second time this season. Demy de Zeeuw and Urby Emanuelson, both on the bench for last Sunday’s match against Feyenoord, were back on the starting team.

MVV’s hopes of upsetting the current Cup champion were dissipated within the first fifteen minutes. Coach René Trost, sent to ArenA’s stands last season as Roda JC’s assistant coach, saw his team go down after only thirteen minutes. Jozefzoon freed himself easily via the right flank, and served El Hamdaoui perfectly. Ajax’s striker swiftly put the home team ahead with a precise shot: 1-0. A few minutes later, the Moroccan player had an opportunity to double the score, but Siem de Jong’s pass was a bit too hard.

Another goal followed just ten minutes after the opening one. Jozefzoon easily passed his opponent Nick Kuipers, and his pass turned into a goal. The high pass landed spot on behind keeper Job Bulters, who grasped for the second time. A heroic moment for the the forward from the home team’s youth training program, who scored his first goal for Ajax 1. MVV’s Lance Voorjans later made a long range attempt on goal, but Maarten Stekelenburg, celebrating his birthday, wasn’t fazed. By the time the break came, MVV was, for all intents and purposes, done. Jan Vertonghen’s header, on a corner kick from Miralem Sulejmani, went into the goal, giving Ajax a 3-0 lead as they made their way to the locker room. Jol: “Beforehand, we were aiming to score three goals before half time. And we did.”

The 17.363 spectators had reason to cheer again soon into the second half. On a pass from captain De Zeeuw, El Hamdaoui controlled the ball and worked it into the goal. With a subtle move with his right foot, he left the former AZ youth keeper without a hope: 4-0. Ajax’s number nine left it at two goals. He was replaced by Daley Blind for the last half hour, and Sulejmani played the rest of the game leading the attack.

Despite Ajax’s clear superiority, a fifth goal took longer to come. Man of the Match Jozefzoon and Sulejmani both had opportunities. In the ninetieth minute, it was Emanuelson who brought the score to 5-0. MVV made the long trip back to Maastricht after a tolerable defeat.

Jol: “All things considered, we reached the next round with a good score. I’m happy with Bonevacia and Jozefzoon’s contribution. Especially since Jozefzoon participated in two goals. The future belongs to Ajax, the future is theirs.” MVV coach Trost on the relative strength of the teams: “We’re playing Veendam on Saturday, and Ajax is playing Champions League. That’s the difference.”