Ajax have won for the first time in ten matches. The Amsterdammers beat FC Volendam at home with goals from Steven Bergwijn and Chuba Akpom. It was John van ’t Schip’s first match as Ajax manager.
Van ‘t Schip made a surprising decision with his first lineup as Ajax’s manager. Ar’jany Martha was given his debut for the Amsterdammers at left-back. He was picked over Gaston Avila.
Ajax captain Steven Bergwijn hit the crossbar with a curled effort midway through the first half. Van’t Schip’s side also could have taken the lead with the last shot of the first half when Bergwijn’s effort from distance was pushed out poorly by Mio Backhaus to midfielder Kenneth Taylor in the box, but he hit his shot into the ground, ensuring that it bounced over the goal.
Ajax started the first half well, but after a while, the side dropped back into the poor form that they have been in.
Martha made an impressive debut and nearly got an assist after 52 minutes when his cross was almost flicked into the goal by Bergwijn. Backhaus did well to tip it over.
But the Volendam keeper could not keep the Ajax winger out four minutes later. The 26-year-old took a touch before smashing the ball into the roof of the net after receiving the ball from Brian Brobbey.
The away side had a huge chance to equalize after 70 minutes, which they did not take. Ajax midfielder Branco van den Boomen headed the ball on, inadvertently sending Robert Muhren one-one-on-one with Ajax goalkeeper Diant Ramaj. Still, the experienced striker’s finishing let him down as the German goalie saved his attempt.
Chuba Akpom came on with around twenty minutes to go. He was not on for long when his looping header came back off the crossbar after Anton Gaaei crossed the ball into the box from the right-hand side.
Akpom got his first goal since joining Ajax last summer from Middlesbrough in the 89th minute. The striker met Steven Berghuis’s corner, with Backhaus unable to keep it out despite getting a touch on the ball. It was only the second time an Englishman has scored for Ajax. Ray Clarke was the first in the 1978-79 season.
It should have been even better for the English striker in injury time. Bergwijn played a perfect pass through to Akpom, who dribbled past Backhaus before hitting the post with the goal empty.
The mistake did not prove costly, however, as Ajax picked up a vital win. They are now 15th after this victory in the Eredivisie table. Volendam is 17th.
https://nltimes.nl/2023/11/02/ajaxs-winless-run-ends-victory-volendam Ajax’s winless run ends with victory against Volendam