The relief is great at AZ after the problem-free 3-0 victory over RKC Waalwijk. The troubled Alkmaarders have already relinquished a lead several times this Eredivisie season, but on Sunday evening the first league victory was finally a fact.
‘Gap with leader Ajax can be bridged’
“This is wonderful, it was time to cut that series”, said captain Koopmeiners FOX Sports. “We’ve been hit hard in recent weeks, but there had to come a time when we would break through that mental barrier with a good win. We have now.”
AZ already relinquished seemingly victories this season against low-fliers Fortuna Sittard (3-3), Sparta Rotterdam (4-4), VVV-Venlo and ADO Den Haag (both 2-2). The team of trainer Arne Slot also had a long lead against RKC, but it took a long time before the match was finally decided.
“In the break we said to each other: it’s the same song again,” said Koopmeiners, who missed a penalty kick in the 68th minute. “But we played well and at a certain point it started to run. We can just be satisfied.”
Teun Koopmeiners and trainer Arne Slot congratulate each other on the victory. (Photo: ANP)
Despite the negative experiences of earlier this season, trainer Slot was confident that his team would hold out against RKC until the final whistle, even though it was ‘only’ 1-0 until the 72nd minute. Albert Gudmundsson eventually secured the victory with two hits.
“It would have been nicer if we had decided a bit earlier, but maybe that is why people kept watching. In a game that starts on Sunday evening at 8 pm, it is quite a challenge to be able to see everything”, Slot joked. FOX Sports.
“I had a strong feeling that during the entire match RKC never believed that they could achieve anything, but it remained 1-0 for a long time. Fortunately we had no way to get it done to give away the lead. . “
AZ is now ten points behind leader Ajax and has also played a match less. “That gap can be bridged, but we should not be working on that at all at the moment. We have left so many points that we will not immediately run into the polonaise with a victory at RKC”, said Slot.
View the program, the results and the position in the Eredivisie