AZ overpowers Barcelona in Youth League, thanks to world goal from center circle

AZ overpowers Barcelona in Youth League, thanks to world goal from center circle

NOS Football

AZ talent Smit scores from the center line against Barcelona in Youth League

AZ’s under 19 team caused a resounding surprise by winning 3-0 against their Barcelona peers, in the eighth finals of the UEFA Youth League. That is the youth equivalent of the Champions League.

Highlight of the afternoon was Kees Smit’s opening goal, from the center circle.

About ten minutes after halftime, thanks to Smit, the spell was broken. The midfielder got the ball to his feet just over the center line via a graceful heel from Mexx Meerdink and outsmarted goalkeeper Ander Astralaga with a blistering shot from long range.

Estadi Johan Cruyff

AZ featured two players on the field of the Estadi Johan Cruyff, normally the stadium of Barcelona’s second team, who have already made their debuts in the first team: Fedde de Jong and Ernest Poku.

Soon after, Meerdink, whose father Martijn played one international for the Dutch national team in 2006, credited a simple nick. He was lucky the goal was approved, as earlier in the attack he was offside. But there is no VAR in this league.

Fifteen minutes before time, Barcelona’s Lucas Roman received his second yellow card for a schwalbe. With a man less, the Catalans went in search of the tying goal, but in injury time, Meerdink with his second goal completely sealed the game: 0-3.

In the quarterfinals, another magnificent match awaits AZ, who will play Barcelona’s archrival Real Madrid at home. Coach Jan Sierksma’s team will play De Koninklijke on March 14 or 15 at the AFAS Training Complex.

Ajax was also still active in the Youth League, losing 5-1 to Sporting Lisbon in the eighth finals.

Kayleigh Williams