If RKC striker Rick Hoogendorp hadn't picked the match against Ajax to waste golden opportunities, maybe the home side would have had a difficult Saturday evening. But to Ajax's relief, that is exactly what Hoogendorp did, so Ajax could win by a big margin. ,,You see a reasonably happy coach before you'', Danny Blind said after the 4-0 win.
What Danny Blind was unhappy about, were the three good opportunities Ajax gave the visitors. ,,Three is too much'', Blind said.
Ajax started well and with good combinations RKC was forced back. The final pass was, however, too often inaccurate. After half an hour, suddenly Rick Hoogendorp found himself all alone on the right side and it was thanks to good footwork by goalkeeper Hans Vonk that Ajax weren't facing an - undeserved - deficit. A minute later, Hoogendorp had another chance, but his shot went high.
Ajax, until those moments with the lion's share of the ball possession, seemed awoken by the two RKC chances. A few minutes after the last opportunity for RKC, Ajax were leading 2-0.
The goals were beautiful. The first one came off the shoe of Ryan Babel, who again played on the left wing. After a great move he fired in the narrowest of corners. ,,The number 9 position at Ajax is not the easiest", Blind explained. ,,Ryan is still a junior. On the left wing he has a little bit more room and that is not bad for a lad who is still developing.
The coach looked on happily when Zdenek Grygera kept coming on more and more. After 38 minutes, he was still near the oppositie goal when Nigel de Jong passed him the ball and the Czech defender headed it in nicely: 2-0.
blind wasn't so happy with his team's play in the beginning of the second half. ,,RKC was a bit braver and played forward more. But although the coach wasn't completely happy with his team, for the first time he did not make any substitutions. Nigel de Jong and Angelos Charisteas made it 4-0, again with nice goals.