Van ‘t Schip had a successful first week. With the victory over Volendam, he saw Ajax climb over the relegation line as the bottom line. And after the second victory in a row, the interim coach, who previously stated that he wanted to reach fifth place as quickly as possible, finds himself back in eleventh place with his team.
And again Van ‘t Schip had no complaints about luck. While it was Robert Muhren on Thursday who bumped into goalkeeper Diant Ramaj and failed to bring Volendam alongside, Osame Sahraoui let Ajax escape in the next home game. The handy left winger from Heerenveen shot a free shooting opportunity onto the post after a nice attack and did not get the rebound into the almost empty goal. The equalizer was not forthcoming, and just like against Volendam, Chuba Akpom turned out to be the savior as a substitute. Now even with two hits.
Did Ajax continue the upward trend of Thursday, when the miserable series of ten games without a win was broken against Volendam, then continue against Heerenveen? Well, not in the first quarter anyway. Ajax even swerved in this regard, putting no pressure on the Frisian formation and also slipping through the eye of the needle a few times. Also because Pelle van Amersfoort once again failed to open the score.
During the first half, Ajax’s confidence and control over the visitors grew. Steven Bergwijn’s opening goal, who also broke the spell against Volendam, helped with this. And especially the attack and pass that preceded it. Defender Josip Sutalo, who played his best game for Ajax so far, defended well to Steven Berghuis.
After a combination with Kristian Hlynsson, the right winger had a wonderful cross to the deep Bergwijn. The captain cleverly slid the 1-0 past fellow international Andries Noppert. Both the arbitration and the VAR did not see him in an offside position.
Then Ajax’s best phase began, with the ball quickly passing from foot to foot and a second goal seemed like a matter of time. And it came, again introduced by a brilliant assist. This time it was Branco van den Boomen, who did not hesitate and beautifully swung the ball at Brian Brobbey’s head.
Don’t leak to the top yet
The striker nodded home at the far post: 2-0. Ajax even swung for a while, but the growing dynamics and enjoyment of the game were abruptly interrupted just before half time (as Ajax has been beaten in more than forty percent of the matches this season in that phase). Luuk Brouwers cleverly promoted Olivier Braude Johansen’s cross to the far corner and scored the tying goal: 2-1.
Heerenveen also showed in the second half that Ajax is still far from completely recovering from the leak. The home team was regularly pushed back, resulting in dire situations. More than 50,000 supporters had already counted the equalizer when Sahraoui was released, but he failed again. Akpom did not do that in the twenty minutes he got from Van ‘t Schip. First he was alert when Noppert fired a shot from Berghuis, to make the final score 4-1 well into injury time on the advice of the same Berghuis.
View new updates
View all updates View the most important updates
Ajax climbs out of the relegation zone with a big win in a difficult match.
92. Akpom goal: 4-1
Chuba Akpom does it anyway. His third goal in two games under Van ‘t Schip.
Berghuis picks up the ball in midfield, maintains an overview and gives Akpom an opportunity not to be missed. The hopeless Noppert is outwitted with a simple slide.
91. And almost Akpom again
Akpom gets another great opportunity, but he kills it.
90. Akpom almost again
He comes in front of his man after a cross from Sosa. Noppert is in the right place.
84. Akpom goal: 3-1
Akpom does it again, just like against Volendam. He has only been on the field for more than ten minutes and ends the game. Berghuis rushes towards sixteen and takes a swing. Akpom is sharpest on the rebound.
83. Double substitution Ajax
Forbs and Sosa come on for Brobbey and Martha.
80. Great opportunities Heerenveen
Disbelief at Heerenveen. Sahraoui squanders two huge opportunities. First he shoots at the inside of the post. He then gets another chance but miraculously manages to shoot the ball wide.
Ajax is lucky that it is still ahead.
77. Berghuis next door
He tries from a distance, but his sights are not focused.
74. Karlsbakk header
He knocks Sutalo in the air, but the ball goes wide.
72. Double substitution Ajax
Devyne Rensch makes his return after injuries. He replaces Gaaei. Chuba Akpom comes on for Hlynsson.
70. Bumblebee lesson for the hard core
64. Brobbey’s goal is cancelled
For a moment Ajax thinks it can extend its lead. Brobbey taps the ball over Noppert, then pushes his opponent and finishes. Van der Eijk sees a violation in this and cancels the goal.
62. Double substitution Heerenveen
Ché Nunnely is replaced by Melle Joop Witteveen.
Oliver Braude is replaced by Hussein Ali
59. Hlynsson lunges
Martha is released on the left, does not opt for a high cross, but instead pulls the ball back. This allows Hlynsson to lash out. Noppert has to stretch, but grabs the ball.
56. Substitute Ajax
Kenneth Taylor is replaced by Silvano Vos.
56. Berghuis almost
Berghuis almost ends the game there. The attacker looks for space for the shot, but it is cracked and goes narrowly wide. Corner.
50. Nunnely in the side netting
And again it is the winger who escapes the Ajax defense. This time the angle is too difficult.
47. Ramaj saves
Disorganization at Ajax at the back when Van den Boomen unintentionally heads the ball through. Nunnely is eventually able to take a swing, but runs into Ramaj.
46. Substitution Heerenveen
Pelle van Amersfoort is replaced by Daniel Karlsbakk
46. Second half started
45 + 1. Goal Heerenveen: 2-1
Out of nowhere, Heerenveen scores the final goal. With a header, Luuk Brouwers puts the Frisians on the scoreboard. What does this do for the self-confidence of Ajax, which started to improve in the match?
45. Five minutes of extra time
42. Goal Brobbey: 2-0
What a wonderful goal from Ajax. Both cross and header are textbook. Van den Boomen delivers the ball measuredly to the head of Brobbey, who heads the ball in very hard. Since Bergwijn’s goal, Ajax has hardly had any problems.
39. Ajax compact
Van ‘t Schip has apparently sent his players onto the field with the assignment to keep the field compact – something that has often been lacking this season.
36. Not quite Brobbey
A nice attack from Ajax. Gaaei gives a low lead to Brobbey, but he arrives just too late for the striker.
35. Chance Taylor
The midfielder gets the ball on the edge of sixteen after a wonderful combination between Martha and Bergwijn, but opts for the pass, which does not arrive.
31. Bergwijn treatment
The goalscorer is being cared for on the field, but seems to be able to continue. Van ‘t Schip seizes the moment to give instructions to the players.
24. Bergwijn goal!
Ziyech-Promes connection revives in the Arena. Like a jack of all trades, Bergwijn appears at the far post after a sharp cross from Berghuis and easily taps it home.
The VAR ruled the goal offside, but it was allowed to continue. A welcome boost for a searching Ajax.
18. Great chance Heerenveen
Ajax escapes a disadvantage there. Van Amersfoort can receive the ball five meters in front of the goal, but acts too slowly, allowing defenders to intervene.
17. Berghuis escapes yellow
The attacker initiates a sliding from behind Mats Köhlert. Referee Van der Eijk lets Berghuis get away with a warning.
15. Ajax is becoming more dominant
After a searching start, Ajax gets into the match a little better. Football has been playing in Heerenveen’s half for several minutes. It has not yet led to great opportunities.
13. Martha shows the urge to attack
Martha, who made her debut against Volendam, regularly looks for attack against Heerenveen. Not surprising given his past as an attacker. The left back was recently a right winger.
8. Danger Heerenveen
Nice attack from Heerenveen and Van Amersfoort can score from a volley, but Van den Boomen is in the way.
5. Scot Hlynsson
Berghuis sets up the attack. He comes in, gives the ball to Hlynsson with his heel, but the Icelander shoots straight into the hands of Noppert.
2. Second corner for Heerenveen
Ajax has not yet crossed the halfway line. The corners pose no danger.
0. The ball rolls
Referee Sander van der Eijk has blown his whistle for the start of the match.
Van ‘t Schip spoke to the players
Shortly before the match, Van ‘t Schip appeared on camera at ESPN. He said he had many individual conversations with the players. “We are indicating during training that they need more coaching. We have now also spoken to three-quarters of the players. We look at what they need.”
In this way he tries to get the best out of the players. For example from Sutalo. Van ‘t Schip tried to look for an explanation for his poor start at Ajax. “It was too far apart, but there may also have been too many changes in the team or agreements that were not clear.”
He also briefly discussed the competition during rush hour. “Brobbey is in the starting line-up, Akpom had a good substitute. Mikautadze is a completely different type. He has to get into the way of playing. If he does that, he will also play more. I hope to get him some minutes today. to give.”
Ajax starts with an unchanged team
Ajax starts with an unchanged team in the home match against SC Heerenveen. Trainer John van ‘t Schip chooses the eleven players who laid the foundation for the first victory after ten matches (2-0) against FC Volendam on Thursday.
Ar’Jany Martha is again Ajax’s left back. He made his debut against Volendam in the main squad and dropped out after an hour with cramp. Devyne Rensch, Carlos Forbs and Borna Sosa return to the home team’s selection as substitutes. They have been sidelined with injuries in recent weeks.
Ajax will take on SC Heerenveen at 4:45 PM. Under the new interim coach John van ‘t Schip, they finally won again against Volendam. Will the Amsterdammers continue this against the Frisians? Follow the competition in our blog.