He missed three good chances, but Myron Boadu did not get upset on Sunday in the top match between AZ and Ajax. In the last minute the young striker headed in the winning goal, making his team equal in points to the leader from Amsterdam.
"You have to wait for the moment in matches like this," said Boadu after the match at the AFAS Stadium. "It is not that you keep getting to the ball and can become dangerous, as usual."
Precisely on that aspect, trainer Arne Slot paid a lot of attention in the run-up to the top match. "The mental part is also very important, especially if you play against Ajax", Slot said.
"Then there are also phases in the match in which you are less. We are not used to that at AZ in the past six months, because we almost always have the ball."
Slot spoke extensively about this with his striker and he also called Boadu for instructions during the race. "Myron finds it difficult if he doesn't appear in the game for a long time. We knew in advance that Ajax would be better in parts of the match, but we also had to see that as an opportunity. Because if Ajax is attacking, then they give away a lot of space. "
AZ trainer Arne Slot gives instructions during the top match against Ajax. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Boadu hardly had to defend against Ajax
Finally, he even adapted his tactics to allow the fast Boadu to become dangerous as often as possible. "He was almost completely relieved of defensive tasks. Every time Ajax had the ball, he had to choose an attacking position."
Eighteen year old Boadu got his first big chance early in the match, when Calvin Stengs only sent him to Ajax goalkeeper André Onana. Due to a poor assumption, Boadu made it difficult for himself and, under pressure from defender Lisandro Martínez, missed.
Later, he played Edson Álvarez cleverly and shot wide from a difficult angle. After the break, Boadu came in a favorable position for the third time, but stumbled halfway into the penalty area.
Yet Slot did not consider changing his striker after his missed opportunities. "He is an insanely good player. Boadu can make a goal any time, he has proven that."
That surprised Boadu with the head, Slot did surprise. "If I had had to make a list in advance with players who could score headers from a corner, Boadu would certainly not have been at the top. Fortunately, he proved me wrong."
Myron Boadu heads the winning goal in the final minute. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Boadu: "Of course everyone will take us into account now"
Due to the winning goal of the born Amsterdammer Boadu, AZ is only halfway through the competition on goal difference under Ajax. "I think everyone will take us into account now," the striker looked ahead to the title fight. "But Ajax is of course a fantastic club, they have a very good team."
"But I don't want to look too far ahead. We just look at it per game, because if we lose next week, then it will all be gone again."
Boadu will play at home with AZ at home against the amateurs of Groene Ster in the TOTO KNVB Cup. On Saturday, the Slot team closes the first half of the season with a away game against Sparta Rotterdam.
View the stand, the results and the program in the Eredivisie