AZ bounced back from their European disappointment last week by thumping a sorry NAC Breda side. Alex Royal was at the AFAS stadion, here’s his take on the action.

By Alex Royal @Royallylad

Boadu Johnsen

Build-up & preview

John van den Brom’s decision to start 17-year-old Myron Boadu ahead of both Fred Friday and Bjørn Johnsen was certainly a bold one, that being the main talking point amongst the team selections.

I was very keen to see how AZ responded after their European woes last week. NAC Breda, on the other hand, it was going to be interesting to see how they coped without both Angeliño and Manu García, both of whom were so influential last season.

First Half

Both team’s intentions were clear from an early stage, with AZ coming out and attacking, and the visitors looking to play on the break.

Fredrik Midtsjø’s piledriver from distance forced NAC keeper Mark Birighitti into early action, just after the 2 minute mark. Merely a minute later, Myron Boadu was sent through by Jonas Svensson’s perfectly weighted through ball, but the teenager’s shot rolled agonisingly wide of the far post. NAC were hanging on by the skin of their teeth.

The visitor’s resistance was finally broken in the 26th minute, Jonas Svensson’s low shot creeping into the far corner, leaving Birighitti motionless.

Pantelis Hatzidiakos doubled the home side’s lead with a close-range volley a couple of minutes afterwards. Right before the interval, Myron Boadu pounced upon a loose touch from keeper Mark Birighitti to become AZ’s youngest ever goalscorer at 17 years and 210 days. 3-0 at the break and the game was over as a contest.

Second Half

You may have expected AZ to take their foot off the gas, being 3-0 up, but they were clearly intent on giving NAC a good hiding and entertaining the fans, who were in fine voice throughout.

Plenty of chances came AZ’s way before Teun Koopmeiners’ deflected strike wrong footed the keeper to make it 4-0. Thomas Ouwejan and Mats Seuntjens coming closest. When I spoke to Teun after the game about his goal he said: “I’m definitely claiming that, it was on target!”

Bjørn Johnsen was handed his debut off the bench, replacing Boadu with 10 minutes left, and it took him just 4 minutes to open his account for his new club, heading home from Ouwejan’s tantalising cross. 5-0 and that was that.

Opinion and Reaction

This was quite the response from AZ after their European campaign came to a premature exit last week. NAC looked very shaky at the back and offered virtually nil going forward, with Mitch te Vrede unable to get into the game at all. AZ could have scored at least eight on another day, Birighitti with a few great saves to keep the scoreline respectable.

I was fortunate enough to chat with Thomas Ouwejan after the game. He was kind enough to give me his opinion on AZ’s performance, and his own one as well.

”I think it was a very good game from our point of view. Especially after the disappointment of going out of the Europa League last week. I thought we worked really hard and gave everything, which resulted in a great 5-0 win, so a fantastic all round team effort.

As for my own performance, I am very happy with that and feel I had a good game. I had a great chance to score and created a few chances too. Getting the assist for the fifth goal was so nice. I am already looking forward to the next game now, away at Emmen.”




Alex Royal (10 Posts)

22 year old from the UK, Middlesbrough fan but have a huge passion for Dutch football in general, especially the Eredivisie. I try and get over when it doesn't clash with Middlesbrough games.