The Ajax U17s have qualified for the finals of the ABN AMRO Future Cup after it came down to penalty kicks against Anderlecht. Ryan Gravenberch is pleased and looks ahead. “It was a great game. I think that people enjoyed it. We fought until the end. Fortunately it went our way and we won, and now we are in the finals!”
Ajax started the game with a good feeling after a convincing 5-0 win against PSG the day before. But the opening goal against Anderlecht took a long time.
It wasn’t until the second half that Naci Ünüvar opened the score by passing keeper Rik Vercauteren with his left foot. Anderlecht’s comeback was fast, Jeremy Doku tied the game just 3 minutes later.
Gravenberch: “The coach told us to stay calm and continue to play offensively and put pressure towards the front.” This tactic bore fruit 5 minutes later. Gravenberch was free in front of the keeper and curved the ball into the near corner. Unfortunately, the video ref put an end to the Amsterdam team’s celebration.
The 2-1 goal was called off due to offside. “I scored and we all ran back to our half. Then I saw the ref talking into his microphone. I thought: what is he doing? I got a bad feeling. At that moment, I had a feeling that I was offside”, said Gravenberch.
The score thus remained 1-1 and an exciting penalty series ensued. The midfielder had a good feeling about it. “We have a good keeper. In other games, Daan saved a few penalties too. I felt some pressure when it was my turn, but at that moment, I thought: okay, okay, this will be fine! We shot them in.”
Keeper Daan Reiziger saved 2 kicks, and Ajax won the penalty series by 8-7, and earned a spot in the finals. At 15:00, the final match against Juventus will take place at the Toekomst. Gravenberch is confident: “We’re going to bring the cup home. We’re going to win!”