ZWOLLE, May 2 (Eredivisie) - Wesley Sonck cracked a second half hat-trick as Ajax inched closer to the Eredivisie title with a comprehensive win at FC Zwolle on Sunday.
Ronald Koeman's men, who have led the table for most of the season, will be crowned champions later in the day if PSV Eindhoven fail to claim maximum points at Volendam.
They were far from their fluent best in the early stages at relegation-threatened Zwolle but the result was never in doubt once Tomas Galasek gave them the lead nine minutes before half-time.
Sonck then took centre stage with a wonderful display which powered Ajax to their 23rd win in 32 league games this season.
Wesley Sneijder also got in on the act, netting Ajax's fourth, shortly before Sonck completed his treble.
Ajax keeper Bogdan Lobont had to be alert after 11 minutes to keep out Bert Zuurman's goalbound shot and shortly afterwards Jasar Takak's header flashed narrowly wide.
Hermen Hoogenkamp was next to try his luck for Zwolle as the hosts started to exude a degree of confidence.
But, as so often happens to teams at the wrong end of the table, they conceded when on top.
Sonck provided the through ball and Czech international Galasek made no mistake with a crisp finish past home keeper Johan van der Werff.
Zwolle almost drew level before half-time but Lobont saved well from Takak's low shot.
If the first half had been fairly even, the second was anything but as Ajax took complete control.
Sonck converted Sneijder's cross after 56 minutes and the same two players combined to settle the match 13 minutes from time.
Sneijder played Sonck through and the Belgian international lashed home a powerful effort to make it 3-0.
Sneijder got the goal his performance deserved two minutes later, wriggling through the defence before beating Van der Werff, and Sonck completed the rout with Ajax's fifth.
The result leaves Zwolle in the relegation play-off places with just two games remaining.