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Young Uruguayan striker scores twice for Ajax

Sunday, September 23rd 2007 - 21:00 UTC
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Ajax's Uruguayan striker Suarez Ajax's Uruguayan striker Suarez

20 year old Luis Suarez, the Uruguayan international, hit two individual classic goals for Ajax of Amsterdam, in their exciting encounter against AZ of Alkmaar on Sunday.

Suarez, who was born in Salto and played for one season with Nacional of Uruguay (scoring 12 goals in 29 games), before moving to FC Groningen in Holland in 2006, struck in the 42th minute when he picked up a loose ball 50 yards from goal. He swiftly cut inside the AZ defender Steinsson before advancing into the penalty area, deftly hitting the ball past the AZ goal-keeper Waterman. Playing for Groningen last season, Suarez scored 10 goals in 29 appearances, and Ajax rated him so highly that they paid 8.5 million Euros ($US 6.29 millons) for him just before this season started in Holland. In the 64th minute of Sunday's game, Suarez struck again. Stekelenburg, the Ajax goal-keeper hit the ball downfield, and Suarez quickly controlled the ball on the edge of the penalty area, and seeing Waterman off his line, sweetly lobbed the ball over the goal-keeper's head and into the net for a spectacular goal. The Ajax coach Henk ten Cate said that Suarez is, "a big talent, but still has to learn a lot. He is only at the beginning of what should be a big career". Asked about Suarez's reported quick temper (he was sent off in his first game for Uruguay), ten Cate said, "I like hot headed players, they have much heart and give you everything". Klaas Jan Huntelaar had put Ajax ahead on Sunday in the 32nd minute, when he drove a free kick just inside the post, from 25 yards. Suarez struck in the 42nd minute to make it 2-0 for Ajax, but AZ pulled a goal back in the 45th minute, when International Demy de Zeeuw smashed the ball past Stekelenburg, after some good work by Agustien who beat 2 defenders and back heeled the ball to de Zeeuw. The game took a vital twist in the 52nd minute when AZ were awarded a penalty, after Huntelaar, back defending at an AZ corner, grabbed Jaliens shirt and pulled him to the ground. But much to the dismay of the AZ fans, El Hamdaoui placed the ball too close to Stekelenburg who saved, diving to his left. Suarez then made it 3-1 for Ajax with his lobbed goal, and in time added on by the referee, Dembele scored AZ's second goal when he reacted quickly after Stekelenburg had only parried a free kick. The final score being AZ Alkmaar 2 Ajax 3. Renowned AZ coach Louis van Gaal was not despondent at the defeat saying that this was "the best performance of my team this season, but 3 silly defensive errors let us down and Ajax took full advantage. I'm not too worried as we created opportunties but did not take convert them into goals". Ajax seem to have something of a 'jinx' over AZ, beating them in the Dutch Cup Final and the play-off game for a UEFA Champions League place last season and the previous season. Ajax's victory took them to the top of the table on goal difference over reigning champions PSV. Both teams have 13 points and are unbeaten. PSV hammered former leaders Feneyoord 4-0 in Eindhoven. By Patrick Watts, MercoPress Correspondent - Europe.

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