Beukema and Reijnders still see chances for AZ: ‘We are close’

Beukema and Reijnders still see chances for AZ: ‘We are close’

NOS Football

Beukema also enjoying a bit in London: ‘Bit of goosebumps at the club song’

Optimism prevails at AZ despite the Alkmaar club’s 2-1 defeat to West Ham United in the semi-finals. “All in all, the good feeling prevails,” defender Sam Beukema spoke afterwards. “With our supporters behind us, I think we can put it right.”

“Until the penalty moment, we set the pace of the game,” Beukema continued. “It’s unfortunate that it then turned into a 2-1 defeat because of two standard situations. We also outplayed Lazio. We know what we can do, we also showed that at times tonight.”

Beukema had enjoyed the game against West Ham United, his favorite club. “I did have a bit of goosebumps when I heard the club song. Surely this is a boyhood dream come true. I was about twelve years old when I was in London with my parents. My mom went shopping and my dad and I caught a cab to Upton Park, then their stadium, for the game against Chelsea.”

Reijnders: ‘Missed chance, two game suspensions kill you’

Tijjani Reijnders speaks of “a missed opportunity. “Two game suspensions kill us, but with this result we can still look forward with a lot of confidence to the return in Alkmaar next week. We showed today what we can bring to the mat. It is now up to us to keep that up for longer.”

Goalkeeper Reijnders: ‘Missed chance, two game suspensions kill you’

“The first half we held the ball well, even when they tried to put us under pressure,” the midfielder continued. “In the second half, you lose the ball too quickly and then you come under pressure. My goal came in a difficult phase for us.”

According to Reijnders, the goal fell at the right time. Beforehand, analyses had shown that there was space around the sixteen-meter area for AZ’s midfielders. “Now it was my moment to dive in. I heard shouting behind me that I should dock, so I did. I was looking for the left corner, tricky for the keeper. It went in and that’s nice then.”

‘Stood up fine’

Coach Pascal Jansen was appreciative of his midfielders’ play and named captain Jordy Clasie and Reijnders as standouts. “Those stood up fine and showed very good things,” the coach said. “Hopefully next week again. Special to see Reijnders, but we all do it together.”

AZ coach Jansen: ‘It’s rest now, going to prepare for second half’

Kayleigh Williams