A liberating victory is what the 4-1 win against RKC Waalwijk can be called. The team did not get demoralised by the goal they allowed and rebounded quickly with a goal of their own. In the second half Ajax went on to win comfortably: 4-1. ,,The win is deserved and very welcome'', coach Danny Blind said after the match.
This Sunday finally brought victory for Ajax. The team had dominated in the first half, only to miss a number of good chances. To add insult to injury, RKC's Rick Hoogendorp got away with a push against Zdenek Grygera and gave the visiting team the lead after 43 minutes. Another disappointing afternoon loomed, but this time Ajax showed poise. Hedwiges Maduro headed in a free kick by Wesley Sneijder in the last seconds of the first half: 1-1.
Quickly into the second half, it was Sneijder himself who gave his side the lead. Markus Rosenberg fought hard to get the ball before the goal and Sneijder picked it up and shot it past goalkeeper Van Dijk.
,,Apart drom a few minutes, we had a firm grip on the match'', said Blind. ,,We hardly gave them any chances, particularly in the first half, and our goals right before and after halftime were decisive. What Ajax had lacked in last week's match against FC Utrecht, the team showed against RKC. At Utrecht, Ajax played apathetically, now the side was sharp and focussed. Blind: ,,We took initiative and showed guts. We were not afraid to make mistakes.''
Ajax knew it had the victory sealed when Markus Rosenberg fired in the 3-1 from the edge of the box. Substitute Ryan Babel, on for Nourdin Boukhari, gave the match some extra shine with a nice goal after a great solo on the left flank.
For Juanfran, the match meant his first 90 minutes in Ajax 1. Urby Emanuelson was rested. The Spanish defender played well and proved an asset on the offensive end as well, particularly in the first half. ,,Juanfran is an experienced player who can control the tempo. He did well after a difficult period'', said Blind. The coach also picked John Heitinga ahead of Hatem Trabelsi. ,,Heitinga has done a good job in the past weeks. He is on his way back. I also thought they would play Hans van de Haar up front with Hoogendorp, and then your backs have to stay behind.''
With the Champions League match against Arsenal, three days away, the win came at the right moment. The four goals should have a positive effect on Ajax's confidence.