Ajax are close to reaching the group phase of the Europa League after grabbing a comfortable home victory against Slovan Bratislava.
The guests will regret their sloppy finishing in the first half, when they could have scored an important away goal. Ajax took over the initiative halfway in the first half that gifted the hosts a crucial victory with four great goals.
Ajax started the match with attacking intentions, but the first good chance was for the Slovakian side. Left-back Thimothee Atouba lost possession in midfield, gifting Branislav Obzera the chance to test the Ajax goalie. Maarten Stekelenburg pulled off a good save to deny the midfielder though.
Minutes later the guests drummed up yet another chance to open the scoring. Pavol Masaryk got the ball on the edge of the area, but his shot went just wide of the goal at the far post.
Ajax took over the initiative around the half hour mark and Luis Suarez came close to opening the score after a quick combination with Siem de Jong. Suarez fired in a left footed shot from a narrow angle, which was parried by the Slovakian shot stopper.
A quick attack after 43 minutes resulted in the opener for the home side. Eyong Enoh reached De Jong in Slovan's half of the field. De Jong then set up Suarez with a perfect pass and the Uruguayan forward calmly slotted home with a placed effort in the top corner.
Demy de Zeeuw tried his luck in the dying seconds of the first half with a powerful right footed shot. Nevertheless, the Dutch international aimed his shot wide of the target and the chance went begging.
Ajax dominated the second half from the start and got a number of chances to double their lead. However, sloppy finishing and a superb Slovakian glovesman initially prevented the Amsterdam side from extending their one goal lead.
Once again it was Suarez who made it 2-0 for Ajax though after 65 minutes. Demy de Zeeuw reached the tricky attacker inside the area with a superb through pass and Suarez fired home with a low shot that went in at the far post.
Luis Suarez | Man of the match with four goals
Suarez was clean through minutes after scoring his second goal of the match, but the gifted attacker saw his delicate chip saved by Slovan goalie David Bicik.
Wingers Dennis Rommedahl and Marvin Zeegelaar both got chances to add their names to the score sheet, but Bicik was clearly reluctant to concede yet another goal and denied the duo with good saves.
Man of the match Suarez scored his hat-trick with ten more minutes to go. De Zeeuw once again set up the attacker with a good pass and Suarez didn't hesitate to make it three for the hosts after cutting inside from the right wing.
Ajax weren't satisfied with their three goal lead though and kept on attacking. Right winger Rommedahl beat his opponent with a good run before laying the ball off for Suarez, who had no trouble finding the empty net with his fourth of the evening.
Substitute Mitchell Donald made things even worse for Slovan in the dying seconds of the match. Zeegelaar sent in a perfect cross from the left wing and the young midfielder tapped home from close range to score the 5-0.
Stefan Coerts, Goal.com