If at first you don't succeed, well, it was only a friendly, Siem.
That was the takeaway lesson for Ajax midfielder and captain Siem De Jong over the weekend as the Dutch giants finished a winter training camp with a practice match in Brazil. With the Dutch Eredivisie still on winter break, Ajax warmed up with a friendly against Vasco Da Gama.
The result was a 1-0 win for Vasco, but the match's most memorable moment might have come when De Jong missed an open goal from all of three yards. Here's what happened.
In the 59th minute, with Vasco already leading 1-0, Ajax created a glorious chance to draw level. Full-back Ricardo van Rhijn crossed from the right, and De Jong ran onto the pass at the far post. With only thin air to beat, De Jong skied his shot well over the bar.
Ajax remained scoreless and eventually lost. Oh well, but like we said—it was only a friendly.
Footage of the miss—which really could go down as the miss of the season, friendly or not—appears above. It serves as our Set Piece Video of the Day for this Tuesday. Enjoy.
After watching, Manchester City fans might be scratching their heads about all of this. De Jong, after all, scored three times in two matches against City in the Champions League group stage this season.
After the Vasco match, Ajax manager Frank De Boer shrugged off the loss. Here's what he said, per Ajax.nl:
The field was a sand box. But despite everything (the heat and the bad field), I’m satisfied because they worked hard. We were only sloppy in the standard situations. In those moments, the organization simply has to be there.
Sure, blame the field. As if the pitch will be better once Ajax return to frozen Holland this weekend.
Still, we want to hear from you. Will De Jong's miss be the best/worst of the season? Let us know what you think.