Martin Jol joked that he had hoped striker Luis Suárez would "stop at two" as the Uruguayan went on to score four goals in a match for the first time in his career against ŠK Slovan Bratislava.
The Slovakian side's hopes of reaching the UEFA Europa League group stage all but evaporated in Amsterdam as the 22-year-old Suárez opened the scoring just before the interval and then registered three more in the second half before Mitchell Donald's added-time strike completed the rout. Jol smiled: "Usually I hope he scores six, but this time I hoped he'd stop at two as the transfer window doesn't close for another ten days."
'A real capitano'
With 44 goals in 67 league games since his move from FC Groningen in 2007, Suárez has developed into a notable striker at Ajax, and Jol – who handed him the captain's armband this season – says he is reaching new heights. "He has been fantastic this year," the coach added. "Last year he was already fantastic, but now he has taken on additional responsibility before matches too, making speeches to the squad; he is a real capitano.
"Scoring four times at European level; that doesn't happen too often," added Jol. Suárez is only the sixth player to do it for Ajax following Ruud Geels, Ton Blanker, Søren Lerby, Marco van Basten and John Bosman, who was the last player to hit four for the club in a 1 October 1986 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first-round game against Turkish side Bursaspor.
'To the top'
"It's the first time I've scored four goals in a game and I'm really happy," said Suárez, who has also registered five times in three Eredivisie ties this summer. "At 1-0 up at half-time we said to each other in the dressing room that we could do better, and we did. We are eager to play well because we want to go to the top with Ajax again, in the Europa League this season and the Champions League next season."
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.