Easy but joyless win against Excelsior

Easy but joyless win against Excelsior

Coach Henk ten Cate made no effort to hide his displeasure about his team's poor play against Excelsior. Klaas Jan Huntelaar scored all the goals for Ajax in the 1-3 victory in Rotterdam.

Dissatisfaction on the faces of the Ajax men when they enter the mixed zone, the room where press and players meet each other after the match. Three points go to Amsterdam after Ajax have defeated Excelsior (1-3), but that is all. It warrants mentioning that Klaas Jan Huntelaar has scored all three Ajax goals, but even on the face of Ajax's top goalscorer there is no trace of a smile. Nobody needs to tell Henk ten Cate's men that their performance was below par this afternoon.

,,My team has annoyed me for 90 minutes'', says Ten Cate bluntly. ,,Apparently we have trouble keeping our concentration. And if we are not concentrated, we have difficulties. This match was was an ugly spectacle and that is a shame.''

Without wanting to make excuses, Ten Cate refers to the busy week that has passed. Between two league matches, Ajax defeated Zulte Waregem in the UEFA Cup on Wednesday. Ten Cate: ,,Even if you play three matches in a week, you can try to stay concentrated. And play the ball to a teammate in the same colour shirt.''

After red cards for Jos van Nieuwstadt and Sieme Zijm, the visitors had two more players on the pitch for quite some time. Huntelaar's three goals could not hide the fact that Ajax should have done more with their numerical advantage. Huntelaar first scored ten minutes before Excelsior's captain Jos van Nieuwstadt was sent off with two foolish yellow cards. A few minutes into the second half the Ajax striker doubled the margin and fifteen minutes before the end, Huntelaar struck for the third time. By then, Zijm had also been sent off. Former Ajax player Mitchell Piqué made it 1-3 in added time.