Justin Kluivert nets hat-trick as Ajax thrash Roda JC
Ajax came from a goal behind to thrash Roda JC 5-1 thanks to a hat-trick from 18-year-old rising star Justin Kluivert, as the club moved to within five points of Dutch Eredivisie leaders PSV Eindhoven, who play later on Sunday at Exclesior.
In-form Ajax were looking for their seventh win in eight league games when they hosted Roda JC. But there was an eerie silence at the Johan Cruyff Arena after Roda took a surprise lead. Christian Kum was allowed to rise above the Ajax defence to head home in the 32nd minute. It was a muted celebration from the man who left Ajax last season.
But on the stroke of half-time the home side equalised. Justin Kluivert played a one-two with Hakim Ziyech and his pace took him through the Roda defence - keeper Hidde Jurjus had no chance. After the break this talented Ajax side were creating chances with every attack.
Moroccan playmaker Ziyech was pulling the strings behind the front three and he chipped one through to Danish striker Kaspar Dolberg who could only find Jurjus with his volley. But two minutes later the floodgates opened - it was a good run from Brazilian David Neres down the right and the perfect cross for Dolberg - his third goal of the season. 2-1 Ajax.
And just 12 seconds after the restart Ajax had their third thanks to a brilliant solo goal from Kluivert who beat keeper Jurjus from 25 metres. The fourth goal came in the 75th minute - Donny van de Beek latching onto a Frenkie de Jong cross for his fifth goal of the season.
It took another ten minutes for the final goal to hit the back of the Roda net, and for Kluivert to get his first hat trick in senior football. It was another piece of individual brilliance from the son of the prolific striker Patrick Kluivert. Justin's fifth goal in 24 appearances for the Ajax senior side - his father scored 52 in exactly 100 games for the club.
Ajax 5-1 winners and they had now scored 40 goals in 13 Eredivisie games. The Amsterdam club were now just five points behind leaders PSV Eindhoven, who travel to Excelsior later in the afternoon.