They may have been pipped to the Eredivisie title at the weekend by FC Twente but AFC Ajax are celebrating their 18th Dutch Cup triumph after a 4-1 second-leg win at Feyenoord.
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AFC Ajax secured their 18th Dutch Cup triumph in fine style, a 4-1 win at Feyenoord completing a 6-1 aggregate victory.
In the first leg in Amsterdam on 25 April, Siem de Jong struck twice in the first seven minutes to give Ajax a 2-0 advantage but they barely required that cushion in Rotterdam tonight. Ajax, pipped to the Eredvisie title by FC Twente on Sunday, scored early on and by the end both Luis Suárez and, again, De Jong had two goals each and their team had moved seven clear of 11-time cup winners Feyenoord in the all-time table.
Suárez struck after just three minutes, robbing Denny Landzaat and surprising Feyenoord goalkeeper Erwin Mulder from 25 metres out. Feyenoord responded well but just past the hour De Jong effectively settled matters, chesting Demy de Zeeuw's pass and shooting in.
Jon Dahl Tomasson pulled one back, tapping in after the fit-again Jonathan de Guzman's free-kick struck the crossbar, but De Jong then claimed his fourth goal of the final with 13 minutes left, combining well with top scorer Suárez who himself had the final word late on. The match marked the last appearances of two stalwarts of Dutch football, Feyenoord striker Roy Makaay – who played the whole game – and referee Roelof Luinge, ending his 27-year top-level officiating career on 88 minutes, replaced by fourth official Kevin Blom to warm applause.
"Of course we started with a nice 2-0 lead from the first leg but that is no guarantee, so I was glad about our quick goal at De Kuip," said Ajax coach Martin Jol, previously a cup winner with Roda JC in 1997. "That actually gave us real certainty about the outcome. After that nothing could go wrong. I did not even want to think about things going the wrong way for us again. Luckily we now have won a trophy."
Ajax had already secured a UEFA Champions League third qualifying place as Eredivisie runners-up so Feyenoord, fourth this season, will now go straight into the UEFA Europa League play-offs.