With hat tricks from Hakim Ziyech and Daley Blind, Ajax ran circles around De Graafschap. The last home game of 2018 ended in a stunning 8-0 win.
Ajax – De Graafschap was on Charity Matchday. This means that the Ajax Foundation held a fundraising activity in the Johan Cruijff ArenA. The money collected will be used to provide underprivileged kids with the opportunity to play sports. Moreover, the youth players had made their season tickets available for a day to kids who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to experience Ajax this way.
Ajax is convincing
In the first ten minutes, Ajax, who had given everything against Bayern Munich on Wednesday, tightened the screws on De Graafschap. The attacking show resulted in many corners and dangerous situations, but – thanks in part to strong keeping by Agil Etemadi, replacing the injured Hidde Jurjus- no goals were scored. In the 18th minute, the first one was scored. Hakim Ziyech found Dusan Tadic on the right side. He took the pass and convincingly sent the ball against the ropes, 1-0! It was the first of many.
Eight minutes earlier, the score could have already been 0-1 when a rare breakaway by the Doetinchem player Van Mieghem on Andre Onana, occurred. The De Graafschap forward’s shot was rushed, and the Ajax keeper was able to save it.
1st Eredivisie goal for Mazraoui
The 2-0 goal came soon after. In the 24th minute, Ziyech opened onto Donny van de Beek, who, with a back-heel pass, found Noussair Mazraoui. The defender, who had scored twice in the Champions League, passed keeper Etemadi and scored his first Eredivisie goal. Eight minutes later, the right back was at the origin of the 3-0 goal. He made a pass to the freed-up Ziyech, who only needed to make contact with the ball. The halftime score could have been higher, but a shot by Matthijs de Ligt hit the post.
Hat tricks for Ziyech and Blind
Ajax had many good opportunities after the break, but Etemadi stood in the way of success at first, as Onana did in the 56th minute when he made a fantastic save on a good header by Erik Bakker. But Ajax wasn’t discouraged and kept the De Graafschap keeper busy. Hakim Ziyech scored the 4-0 and 6-0 goals, and Daley Blind, whose last Eredivisie goal had been on February 2, 2014, scored the beautiful 5-0 goal. Ziyech had been substituted at that point, with Daley Sinkgraven taking his place.
Daley Blind scored the final goal. The defender rarely scores, but this was his match. With 2 more goals, he attained the final score of 8-0. A great result in an undefeated 2018 in the ArenA.