Ajax have lifted their first piece of silverware since 2014 thanks to a 4-0 victory over Willem II in the KNVB Beker final.

  • by Michael Statham
  • Follow Michael on Twitter @EredivisieMike

Willem II were hoping to win their first Dutch cup since 1963, but were outplayed in De Kuip by an Ajax side that took a while to get going.

Ajax began the match in cagey fashion, much to Willem II’s delight, but neither side could create any true openings until the 38th minute when an Ajax corner was worked to Dusan Tadic, who crossed for Daley Blind to head into the net despite goalkeeper Timon Wellenreuther’s best efforts to claw it out.

Only one minute later, it was 2-0; Hakim Ziyech played in Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who side-footed home to give the Amsterdam side a comfortable half-time lead.

Shortly after half-time, Willem II created one of their few openings in the game, as Vangelis Pavlidis saw his finish expertly blocked by Ajax captain Matthijs De Ligt.

Ajax weathered the storm to punish their opponent’s wastefulness, when Donny van de Beek laid off a pass to Huntelaar, who proceeded to bag his second of the afternoon.

Rasmus Kristensen, who was a surprise choice by Erik Ten Hag to start the cup final, finished off the scoring with a side-foot finish from the edge of the penalty area.

Willem II had to wait until the 83rd minute for their first shot on-target; unfortunately for the Tilburgers, it wasn’t a particularly good one either as André Onana caught a simple header. It simply wasn’t to be for the Eredivisie side – even the prolific Alexander Isak had a quiet game.

Ajax next face Tottenham in the Champions League on Wednesday, before an Eredivisie match with Utrecht on Sunday, as they look to win an unlikely treble. Willem II will now look to finish in the top eight of the Eredivisie to qualify for the end-of-season Europa League play-offs.

Michael Statham (741 Posts)

Writer/interviewer/YouTuber for Football-Oranje. Massive Dutch football fan from the UK. Follow me @EredivisieMike & subscribe to Football-Oranje on YouTube.