Cvitanich treble as Ajax roll
Dario Cvitanich weighed in with an accomplished hat-trick as Ajax rode roughshod over struggling NAC Breda this afternoon at the Amsterdam ArenA. The Argentina-born striker bagged a first-half brace while further goals from Jan Vertonghen and Luis Suarez had the hosts four goals to the good at the break.
Kennedy Bakircioglu made it 5-0 three minutes after the restart while Cvitanich competed his treble just past the hour. The victory moves Ajax one point behind pace-setting trio PSV Eindhoven, Feyenoord and Twente at the summit, while Breda, level on points with the Amsterdammers at the start of the day, drop to eighth.
The hosts surged ahead after 11 minutes when Bakircioglu's excellent run and shot drew a parry from NAC keeper Jelle Ten Rouwelaar that fell back at the feet of the Swedish midfielder. He squared for Cvitanich to open his account.
Martin Jol's side doubled their lead after 18 minutes, Vertonghen lashing home an unstoppable free-kick into the top-right corner of Ten Rouwelaar's net after the defender had been felled on the edge of the box by Patrick Zwaanswijk.
NAC only had themselves to blame for conceding a third after 42 minutes, Donny Gorter's under-hit back pass intercepted by Suarez, who took the ball forward and slotted past Ten Rouwelaar. And a perfect half of football from an Ajax perspective was capped in stoppage time when Demy De Zeeuw picked out Cvitanich inside the area, and the striker drilled a shot low into the left corner.
Four became five shortly after the restart when Bakircioglu nodded home into an unguarded net after Ten Rouwelaar completely misjudged the flight of Suarez's teasing cross, while Cvitanich's perfect afternoon was completed after 63 minutes when he drilled home a right-footed from just inside the box.
NAC avoided further humiliation in the closing moments when Marko Pantelic had a goal chalked off for offside.