Ajax posted a solid win on Sunday. Martin Jol’s team defeated De Graafschap 0-5 in Doetinchem. Captain Luis Suarez scored three times in De Vijverberg, earning his first hat trick of the season.
Doetinchem has been fertile soil for Ajax in the last years. Their last three visits to De Vijverberg delivered Ajax no fewer than nineteen goals (0-5, 1-6 and 1-8). With the up and running dream duo Suarez – El Hamdaoui on board, there were indeed many opportunities on Sunday in the Achterhoek for a goal-rich afternoon. After ninety minutes, that was indeed the case in this 2010 edition.
With a bottle of champagne and the match ball as rewards for his man of the match title and hat trick, Suarez was all smiles as he left the Doetinchem stadium. The Uruguayan player had already laid the foundation for his hat trick by scoring two goals during the first half. Ajax’s captain opened the score against the hosts after fourteen minutes. With a precise header, on Gregory van der Wiel’s pass, he put Ajax in an early lead. Shortly before the break, the Uruguayan player scored on a free kick, thus ensuring the cup winner of a comfortable 0-2 lead.
De Graafschap had several dangerous opportunities in between Suarez’s goals. Hugo Bargas came close to scoring on two occasions. But Maarten Stekelenburg’s good work avoided any damage for Ajax in the first half.
Ajax finished the job during the second half. It took some time before the score increased, but in the match’s last quarter, the counter went up quite fast. In the 68th minute, Urby Emanuelson’s free kick went in convincingly. In the last minute, Suarez (assisted by De Zeeuw) scored his third, and Ajax’s fourth, of the afternoon. Ajax’s top scorer earned his first hat trick of the season, and, with four competition goals, is tied with his team mate El Hamdaoui, who didn’t score on Sunday.
After the break, De Graafschap tried regularly to score. Stekelenburg was impossible to get past, and with several great saves, he kept his goal clean for the second time in a row in competition play.
In the last minutes, with substitute Florian Jozefzoon on field, fellow substitute Christian Eriksen scored the last goal, 0-5. The Dane, who scored during the cup matches, made his first competition Ajax goal.
The win in Doetinchem was a relatively simple one, and it was a boost for coach Martin Jol. Four days after ensuring a spot in the Champions League group phase, they needed to shift gears during the visit to De Graafschap. “After Wednesday, you could expect that it would have been difficult, but fortunately, it wasn’t. There’s always the danger that you’re physically, but not mentally, ready for a match like this. But that wasn’t the case today. That’s why I was happy with our first fifteen minutes. Everything went well this afternoon. I’m happy with that.”