Vertonghen leads Ajax to victory

Vertonghen leads Ajax to victory

Ajax defeated Vitesse by 3-0 on Sunday after a convincing second half. Jan Vertonghen was the man of the match with two goals. With the second home win of the season, Ajax move up in the league table.

The team that coach Marco van Basten fielded was changed on one position in comparison with the cup match against FC Utrecht on Thursday. Urby Emanuelson, out wioth the flue, was replaced by Robbert Schilder. But Ajax could not reach the level of that cup clash. Vitesse coach Hans Westerhof, former head of youth development and interim coach of Ajax, had done his homework and drew up a human wall around his own box, giving Ajax difficulty to play their favourite game. ,,The pace of our passing was too slow and we lost the ball too often”, Van Basten said. ,,No, it wasn't good what we showed in the first half.”

Despite that, Ajax had enough opportunities to score. Eyong Enoh was in the starting lineup again and, together with Jan Vertonghen, the man from Cameroon was very solid in midfield. Enoh seemed on his way to his first Ajax goal when he fired the ball from distance in the 26th minute, but his shot was saved by Piet Velthuizen and the crossbar. Luis Suarez also created the occasional chance with his solos, but it did not lead to great opportunities before halftime.

In the beginning of the second half, Van Basten replaced Jeffrey Sarpong with Dario Cvitanich. The forward from Argentina had a good chance early in the half, but his header was spectacularly saved by Velthuizen. ,,Dario gave the team some more energy”, Van Basten said. And so did Suarez, who shook off his defender Jeroen Drost in the 61st minute and was found with the ideal cross by Gregory van der Wiel. Suarez shot the ball past Velthuizen and gave Ajax the lead: 1-0. ,,That goal lifted the ban. After that, Vitesse were finished'', said Van Basten.

Fifteen minutes later the Ajax supporters had reason to celebrate again, thanks to Jan Vertonghen. The midfielder ran into Vitesse's box and again Van der Wiel gave the cross. Vertonghen finished as if he were a srtiker: 2-0. Not much later, Vertonghen combined with Klaas Jan Huntelaar and scored again. ,,Jan's goals were a feast for the eye”, Van Basten praised his midfielder. ,,He plays very maturely, despite his young age of 21. That he can also score, is a bonus'', said the former world-class striker with a smile.