Ajax reaches Cup quarterfinal with record win

Ajax reaches Cup quarterfinal with record win

Ajax closed 2009 in style on Wednesday night. During this round of sixteen match in the FC Zwolle stadium, the team from Amsterdam was much too strong for the amateurs from WHC: 1-14. Luis Suarez had six goals to his credit, but also received a costly yellow card.

The welcome was festive in Zwolle. The arrival of the teams from Amsterdam and Wezep was greeted with a nice firework display. Although the fireworks were absent on field, Ajax nonetheless provided an enjoyable football evening, which would end up as the team’s biggest Cup victory ever. After difficult Cup duels against AGOVV and FC Dordrecht, this time the fans who had made the trip had more than enough to cheer about. The announcer was kept busy calling out the many goals throughout the game.

Six days after their disappointing loss against Anderlecht (1-3), Ajax washed away the bitter taste of that European match. Originally, Martin Jol’s team would have had the chance to do this a few days earlier, but Sunday’s competition match against NAC Breda was cancelled due to snowy weather. Wednesday was therefore their first opportunity to make amends.

But it was unsure whether this Cup match against WHC – who beat Gemert in penalty kicks in the previous Cup round – would even go ahead. Fortunately for Ajax and the top amateurs, the FC Zwolle stadium has artificial grass, providing a green surface on Wednesday night. About fifty volunteers worked all day Tuesday to keep the field in Zwolle free of snow, and they were successful. “The conditions were fine. The field was good”, commented Jol afterwards.

The green artificial surface soon became a red carpet for Ajax, playing in their strongest line-up. The difference between number eleven of the Saturday Hoofdklasse C and the record holding national champion was simply too great. After eighteen minutes, Pantelic opened the score. The forward reacted to a ball let loose by Kennedy: 0-1. Six minutes later – after also having hit the post – the Serb doubled the score. On a pass from De Zeeuw, he finished simply: 0-2.

The game never became a match, due to the rapid succession of goals. Ajax proceeded to score frequently throughout the rest of the game. Aissati (24th minute) and Suarez (27th minute) widened the gap to four goals. In the 30th and 33rd minute, they repeated the sequence. With 0-6 on the scoreboard, the crowd saved the loudest cheering for WHC’s lone goal. Jolf Stelf received a standing ovation for putting his team on the scoreboard: 1-6.

Just as in the first half, Ajax kept the goals coming in the second half. Suarez raised his personal score to four goals with goals in the 53rd minute (header) and the 59th minute. Two minutes after the score became 1-8, he wanted to reward Kennedy with a goal, but before Suarez’ pass could reach the Swede, the ball had already been touched by WHC defenseman Jeffrey Bosch into his own goal. But Kennedy got his goal later on. With a decisive shot, he put the 1-10 on the scoreboard.

But Ajax’s quest for goals wasn’t over yet. In the last seven minutes, Kennedy, De Zeeuw and Suarez (twice, for six in total) brought the final score to 1-14. With this, Ajax’s greatest Cup victory until now (10-0 against Rapiditas) was wiped out of the history books. “I’m very satisfied”, commented Jol afterwards. “Of course we knew we were stronger, but you never know how a match will go. But this went well. Almost everything just got better and better.”

The only blotch on the evening was Suarez’s yellow card midway through the first half. The captain received yellow for comments on the referee. As he had already gotten a yellow card during the previous round’s game against FC Dordrecht, the captain will have to sit out the quarter finals, making his words to the referee very costly ones.