Coach Peter Bosz was, naturally, a happy man after the near-loss against Schalke 04. He and his team qualified for the UEFA Europa League semi-finals after an overall result of 4-3.
Bosz didn’t look back on the beginning, in which Schalke seemed to bull-dozer Ajax. “This is what we expected: that Schalke would start off strong and get the crowd behind them. And that’s what happened in the first minutes.”
Fortunately, no damage ensued from those first 45 minutes: “It was good that we went into halftime at 0-0, although it’s obviously better if you’ve scored. But we weren’t able to find our free man, Lasse Schöne. Had we been able to do that, it would have been more relaxed. We lost possession, and they got opportunities. Because we didn’t have fifty thousand people in the stadium encouraging us, we needed to show some guts. But a few of the guys just didn’t do that.”
And the scenario just got worse at the start of the second half. “2-0 behind, and with ten men. Obviously, it’s going to be tough”, according to the coach. “You try to focus on the game, and play compactly. We needed to seek out our moments to attack. After the 3-0, it happened. We had to fight with 10 men. And on Sunday, PSV awaits us. We only have two days to recover. But this gives energy, too, we’re going to come out fighting.”