Ajax has posted a no-fuss 3-0 win against last-placed RKC Waalwijk. Dusan Tadic, Lassina Traoré and Klaas Jan Huntelaar scored the goals.
With Hakim Ziyech on the squad for the first time in an Eredivisie game since January 19, 2020, Ajax kicked off against RKC Waalwijk. In the Johan Cruijff ArenA, Erik ten Hag’s team sought to increase its lead on second-placed AZ to 6 points. The Alkmaar team had unexpectedly lost to FC Twente on Saturday.
Penalty kick for 1-0
In the 13th minute, this mission seemed to be accomplished. Donny van de Beek was tripped by Hans Mulder’s leg in the penalty kick area, and referee Dennis Higler placed the ball on the spot. Tadic scored the 1-0 goal convincingly.
Ajax remained the dominant party, but played at too slow a pace, and the score remained where it was. Opportunities had come for centre forward Traoré, who couldn’t pass keeper Etienne Vaessen from RKC. The Waalwijk team handed out a few threats of their own, without really putting Andre Onana to the test. The score remained 1-0 until halftime and the crowd had most likely hoped for more. That would have to wait until the second half.
Game rhythm Blind
Immediately after the break, Ten Hag brought in Daley Blind for Ziyech. Both players had made their return in Wednesday’s cup game against Vitesse and, in this game against the last-placed team, had the chance to build up some game rhythm. Thursday’s European game against Getafe awaits.
Ajax needed less time than in the first half to score. Seven minutes after the opening whistle for the second half, Traoré scored after a good pass from Van de Beek. He brought Ajax some breathing room, as well as more chutzpah.
In the final half hour, Klaas Jan Huntelaar came in. The goal-seeker has scored 7 times as a substitute this season, and, a few minutes in, he came close to his 8th, but the ball bounced onto the post. But, in the 90th minute, he did score his 8th as a substitute, and his 9th of the season! With this, he overtakes Nikos Machlas in the books as the most scoring substitute.
Ajax thus booked a good win: 3 goals, no goals against, no injuries and no undue stress. A good foundation for the mid-week Europa League duel against Getafe in Madrid.