View the summary of Ajax – sc Heerenveen
The recovery is still fragile, but with two victories in two matches, Ajax has found its way up in the Premier League under coach John van ‘t Schip. After leaving last place with the win over FC Volendam (2-0), Ajax climbed to eleventh position on Sunday with a 4-1 victory over SC Heerenveen.
With the same eleven players as against Volendam, Van ‘t Schip started the second match under his leadership in the Johan Cruijff Arena. “No reason for change,” he said beforehand. The coach did want to see “improvement” compared to the previous game.
Afterwards the coach was realistic. “The leak is not over yet, certainly not,” said the coach. “I don’t have a magic formula. The boys know very well that they can do better, even better than tonight.”
Watch the interviews with John van ‘t Schip, SC Heerenveen coach Kees van Wonderen below and check the Premier League standings:
The visitors did not care about Ajax’s intentions. Heerenveen was threatening in the opening phase through striker Pelle van Amersfoort. However, Branco van den Boomen and goalkeeper Diant Ramaj were in the way. Then Ajax took control.
Bergwijn breaks the spell
Josip Sutalo, among others, showed that confidence is growing at Ajax. The Croatian signing, who was a bit of uncertainty in his first months in Amsterdam, was at the basis of a beautiful attack that led to the opening goal.
Steven Berghuis served Steven Bergwijn with a splitting pass, who started on the edge of offside and was able to score the 1-0 with an outstretched leg. The second goal was equally beautiful. Van den Boomen demonstrated his excellent kicking technique and Brian Brobbey headed the hard, high cross against the ropes.
A tight pass from Anton Gaaei, a nice opening from Berghuis and a clever assumption from Bergwijn earned applause. The Amsterdam crowd prepared for more great things, but Heerenveen quickly put the Ajax players back down to earth. Luuk Brouwers headed the ball beautifully into the far corner: 2-1.
After the break, Heerenveen again created danger. Via the head of Van den Boomen, who also initiated a Volendam attack on Thursday, the Frisians broke through the Amsterdam rearguard and goalkeeper Ramaj saved a shot from Ché Nunnely.
Akpom provides relief again
Ajax’s game after the break was not good. Yet Brobbey seemed to give the home team a comfortable lead in the 64th minute after strong perseverance. However, referee Sander van der Eijk disallowed the goal due to a push against Pawel Bochniewicz. So Heerenveen continued to hope and Ajax to fear.
Osame Sahraoui had chances for an equalizer, but first shot against the post and then wide after Brouwers put it back from close range. Ajax substitute Chuba Akpom provided relief in the 84th minute, as he had already done against Volendam. He headed in the rebound of Berghuis’ shot.
Watch the interviews with Chuba Akpom and Ar’jany Martha below:
In injury time, Akpom also crowned his substitute with a second goal, this time with the left foot on a pass from Berghuis. With three goals in two games, the 28-year-old striker is having his best period so far in Amsterdam. He admitted that it had not been easy.
“The first two months were horrible,” Akpom said. Little playing time, no goals, alone in a hotel. “Now I feel lighter. I have been waiting for this. The trainer immediately spoke to me, not as a football player, but as a person. Only now do I feel at home here.”
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