Win at Roda a relief for Ajax

Three years in a row, the match between Roda JC and Ajax ended in 1-1. This time, Ajax won: 1-2, and it was the first time in five years. Tom Soetaers and Victor Sikora scored the goals for Ajax.

In a bad first half, Ajax, without no less than nine important players, failed to show why they are the number-one ranked team in Holland. After a turnover by Wesley Sonck, Anastasiou put the home side up: 1-0.

Maarten Stekelenburg, due to Bogdan Lobont's back injury, made his first appearance for Ajax 1 this season. It was also John O'Brien's first start, because Brazilian Maxwell, who had not missed a match so far, is trying to get his country to the Olympics in Athens.

Coach Ronald Koeman had indicated to want to play in a 4-3-3 formation for the rest of the year. And because he wanted to play with real wingers, the oft-criticised Tom Soetaers and Victor Sikora were given a place in the starting line-up.

Zdenek Grygera had to leave the pitch shortly before halftime, adding to the injury woes that are already plagueing Ajax. And that on the day striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was found to have a serious injury to his groin which requires him to have surgery and to miss the next eight weeks

In the second half Ajax showed more passion in the first five minutes than in the 45 minutes before. In the third minute, Rafael van der Vaart found Victor Sikora. The right winger struck beautifully and scored.,,I really needed this", Sikora beamed afterwards. ,,I had to get used to the criticism here. I hope this is the beginning of many things to come.''

After little over an hour, the other winger scored. Tom Soetaers was equally succesful in his long-range effort. ,,I am happy that they scored", Koeman said. ,,For them, it's a shot in the back. I am satisfied on the basis of the second half, not on the first."

Ajax were the better team in the remainder of the match, also when Daniël de Ridder made his debut for Ajax 1 when he replaced Sikora on the right wing. He could have scored after a fantastic move, but goalkeeper Kujovic was in the way.