Ajax won their first league match of the season with impressive numbers: 1-8. Klaas Jan Huntelaar added no less than four goals and that pleased coach Henk ten Cate very much.
Huntelaar had a huge part in the jump start Ajax made in stadium De Vijverberg. The individual class of the Ajax forwards drew the most attention on Sunday. Yet the imperssive win belonged to the whole team. The forwards reaped the benefits from the work of their teammates.
After a restless start, Ajax took control after the first half hour. Huntelaar and Luis Suárez gave their team a 0-2 lead at halftime. Suárez gave the assist to Huntelaar, who in return provided the cross for his Uruguayan colleague.
,,The 0-1 came at a good time and the 0-2 at an even better time’’, Ajax boss Henk ten Cate said. ,,In the beginning we had some problems with De Graafschap. They were positioned well and worked hard. After our first two goals, the ball tempo went up and then you know that De Graafschap cannot keep up anymore.’’
Substitute Hedwiges Maduro (he replaced Robbert Schilder after the first half) extended the lead with two solid goals: 0-4. Kennedy Bakircioglü capped off an individual highlight with a shot in the corner (0-5) and thus also contributed to the victory.
After an hour, the match was decided. The home team tried to limit the damage in the remainder of the match, but aside from a goal by De Groot (1-6, right after Huntelaar's second), De Graafschap were not successful in that attempt.
,,This win is good for us and of course also for Klaas Jan’’, said Ten Cate. Huntelaar made it 1-7 from the penalty spot after Suárez had been brought down and 'The Hunter' also scored Ajax's eighth when he headed in a cross. ,,Normally I don't get involved with the penalties, but this time I went to the touchline. Huntelaar had to take the penalty. This is good for his confidence. I am happy for Klaas’’, Ten Cate said.
With the result, Ajax captured first place in the league table. They now have two home games in the Dutch league (against sc Heerenveen and FC Groningen).