Ajax pick up first win, Altidore double for AZ
Ajax picked up their first win of the new Eredivisie season with a 6-1 demolition of NEC Nijmegen.
The Amsterdammers, who opened up with a 2-2 draw against AZ Alkmaar last week, hit top gear today as goals from Jody Lukoki, Christian Eriksen, Theo Janssen, Siem De Jong and a brace from Tobias Sana secured an emphatic victory.
Thirteen minutes were on the clock when Ajax went in front, Lasse Schone picking out Lukoki who had a simple task to apply the finish. Goal number two arrived four minutes later, Eriksen dispossessing Pavel Cmovs and rounding the goalkeeper before passing the ball into the unguarded net.
And it was three goals in just seven minutes when Sana collected Toby Alderweireld's long ball out of defence and turned his man before drifting a delightful lob over Gabor Babos. Six minutes before the interval Janssen drilled in a shot from 25 yards that Babos got a hand to but could not keep out, and on 53 minutes De Jong made it five when he bundled the ball home after a scramble in the area.
NEC restored some pride 10 minutes later when Bram Nuytinck nodded home a Soren Rieks corner, but the last word went to the hosts as Sana added his second on 81 minutes.
Jozy Altidore grabbed a brace as AZ ran out comfortable 3-1 winners at home to Heracles Almelo. The hosts dominated from the outset and deservedly went ahead in the 16th minute when Roy Beerens delivered an inch-perfect cross from the left and Altidore fired home at the far post.
AZ doubled their lead on 27 minutes, Adam Maher and Beerens linking superbly before Maarten Martens applied a simple finish from close range. Heracles set up a grandstand finish when they pulled a goal back in the 87th minute when Luis Pedrosa's cross was nodded home by Samuel Armenteros from the edge of the six-yard box.
But there was still time for AZ to restore their two-goal cushion in stoppage time, Altidore unleashing a low right-footed shot from the edge of the area that flashed beyond Remko Pasveer. The win leaves AZ third in the league after two games, level with second-placed Ajax and two points adrift of early leaders FC Twente.
Danny Holla's last-minute free-kick rescued a point for ADO Den Haag in a thrilling 2-2 draw at home to RKC Waalwijk. In a punishing match played in searing temperatures it was RKC who drew first blood after 14 minutes, Teddy Chevalier lashing home Robert Braber's unselfish pull-back.
The hosts were level four minutes later through Vito Wormgoor's stunning effort, the defender lashing home from the edge of the area after the RKC defence failed to properly clear a Holla free-kick. There was controversy in the 28th minute when RKC's Florian Jozefzoon was brought down by Aaron Meijers and the referee signalled a penalty and brandished a yellow card, only to rescind both decisions following consultation with one of his assistants.
RKC were further aggrieved when they lost defender Sigourney Bandjar to a second yellow card midway through the second half, but that did not prevent the visitors taking the lead again in the final minute, Chevalier latching on to a loose header by Wormgoor and firing home beyond Gino Coutinho.
But there was still time for more drama as Holla stepped up to take a free-kick two minutes into stoppage time and duly picked out the top-left corner of the net.
FC Groningen were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw at home to Willem II. The home side were in command for much of the contest but only had David Texeira's 26th-minute effort to show for their efforts, the forward nodding home after connecting with Mitchell Schet's centre. Willem II snatched a share of the spoils three minutes into the second period, Marc Hocher lashing home from the edge of the box.