Leaders Ajax beat RKC after a tough first half
With Steven Berghuis as the leading man, Ajax beat RKC Waalwijk away on Saturday. The versatile international was vital to the victory of the champions scoring two goals (4-1). He also gave the assist for the 4-1 by Brian Brobbey, the striker who had also scored the 3-1.
The performance by the leaders of the Eredivisie gave few reasons for optimism for the home match on Wednesday against Liverpool in the Champions League. RKC was given too much space and chances in the first half for that.
Ajax started the match with the same players that started against Excelsior (7-1). However, RKC put up much more resistance than the club from Rotterdam last weekend in the Johan Cruijff Arena. The club from Waalwijk, who have started the season well, showed before halftime that Ajax is vulnerable defensively.
Michiel Kramer thought he had shot RKC into the lead after 11 minutes. But the striker was a few centimeters offside when he scored. Steven Berghuis did score after 22 minutes for Ajax. He started the attack with the outside of his foot and then shot the ball through the legs of Shawn Adewoye into the goal.
Adewoye was able to stop the 2-0 from Klaassen. He saved the ball right before it crossed the line.
Ajax struggled when RKC could counter. The defence of the champions fell apart at times. In the 40th minute, it went completely wrong. Goalkeeper Remko Pasveer was able to stop the equalizer from Yassin Oukili but had no answer for the shot from Pelle Clement (1-1). The Amsterdammers gave his old club their 15th goal they had conceded in all competitions in October. Ajax have only conceded more in November 1964 (16) and September 1988 (16). Right before halftime Thierry Lutonda nearly shot the home side into the lead. But again, Pasveer was in the way.
Ajax manager Schreuder intervened at halftime. He subbed Daley Blind and Edson Alvarez for Owen Wijndal and Florian Grillitsch. Blind had already been booked, and Alvarez would miss the match against PSV if he were to get booked. Ajax played a lot better in the second half. Berghuis smashed his team back into the lead after 53 minutes. Then Brobbey decided the match with two goals.
Reporting by ANP