The U19’s of Ajax have finally managed to win a penalty shootout in the UEFA Youth League. Three successive editions Ajax lost after penalties but this time they were victorious. Absolute man of the match; Ajax-goalie Daan Reiziger, who stopped 3 penalties and scored the final one himself!
At Ajax’ youth academy de Toekomst Spanish top-club Atletico Madrid was the opponent in the 1/8 finals of the UEFA Youth League. The Spanish side showed their intentions from the first minutes. Ajax was allowed to have most of the possession and they were looking for a quick counter.
The first massive chance was for Atletico Madrid. A header by Atletico striker Ureña got cleared off the goal line by Devyne Rensch. Just a few minutes later Atletico got another opportunity after a corner by Ajax. A rapid counter was cleared by Ajax-goalie Raatsie just in time.
Ajax got its first chance after about twenty minutes. A good attack via Ünüvar and Quinten Timber just went over the crossbar.
In the second half, Atletico became a lot more dangerous. There weren’t that many chances for either team, however. A weak shot by Regeer and a ball just over the crossbar by Atletico were they only dangerous moments. A penalty shootout, there’s no return or extra time in the Youth League, seemed unavoidable. And it was: 0 – 0.
Just before full-time Heitinga substituted his goalies, Raatsie isn’t known as a penalty-killer whereas his replacement Daan Reiziger is. Both teams missed their first penalty and after that, the teams stayed synchronised with their penalties. Reiziger saved two but the Ajax players that followed each saved penalty also missed. Reiziger made himself the hero of the day and saved the 8th Atletico penalty as well after which he claimed the ball. The goalie took Ajax’ 8th penalty himself and he scored spectacularly! This meant that Ajax won the shootout and thus progresses to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Youth League.
In the quarter-finals Ajax U19 will face either Crvena Zvezda (Serbia) or FC Midtjylland (Denmark)