Phyllis Matsu wrote his first historical piece in Anderlecht. The coach led Purple & White back to Europe after a four-year absence. After that, the coach was delighted: “The players felt the pressure of qualifying.”
The number of people who hugged him after the final whistle was unbelievable. Phyllis Matsu – along with Hendrik van Kromburg – was the famous man in Anderlecht.
“This club has been waiting for this qualification for a long time,” the coach said, explaining the many feelings afterward. “We made two mistakes: we conceded and were not efficient. The first half of the hour was not consistent, but after that we did good things. We really deserved the equaliser.”
Mental and emotional stress cannot be simulated in training.
But Matsu saw that his young group was struggling with circumstances. “The players felt the pressure of qualifying. He wasn’t young, hey. We almost had to qualify for the group stage. Mentally it was tough.”
Especially during penalty shootouts. With Mario Stroykens and Noah Siddiqui, two other 17-year-olds with a “mucous nose” type stepped forward. And it turned out that Matsuo did not let his team train at eleven meters.
Matsu laughed: “My friend asked me this week: Why don’t we practice penalty kicks?” “I explained to him that you can’t simulate mental and emotional stress in training anyway. So I just asked who wanted one kick. It seems Mario and Noah wanted to do it.”
And now? Big party in Astridpark?
“We’ll have some fun, yeah,” the coach grinned. “But only tonight, you know. Because on Sunday we have a good game, you know (against Union, ex-Matsu team, editor). Friday is all forgotten and we’re going to prepare for that.”
Hendrik van Kromberg: “I got the energy from that save at the end of the penalty shootout”
Match winner Hendrik van Cromburg played his 100th match for Anderlecht. Make it a special night. “This match had it all: a lot of emotion, intensity, enthusiasm and fortunately for us there was also a good result,” he said in front of Spurza’s microphone.
Just before the end of extra time, the goalkeeper saved his team from elimination with a superb display. “The skewed free kick across the wall is every goalkeeper’s fear. I’m glad I still had the reaction to keep that ball away with some body movement. You also get energy from that for the penalty chain.”
“Yesterday I consciously wanted to relieve the pressure a bit, but we shouldn’t underestimate the importance of this qualification. This is really important for this club. For the financial side of course, but also for Anderlecht’s image.”
It came as no surprise to Van Crombrugge that Mazzu threw so many youngsters into the fray. “I think it was a good choice to bring them in because they are lively, energetic and can impose something against the somewhat tired, tough Swiss.”
The captain now has ambitions in the group stage. “We’re not going to be extra. The conference league has been looked down upon a little bit last year, but at the same time it’s valued higher. And we’ll try to be the best version of ourselves.”
Noah Siddiqui: “The coach asked who wanted to kick and I raised my hand”
Noah Siddiqui (17) seemed very calm for a few moments after the match: “My heart rate really dropped a little bit. It could have gone either way today, but I’m glad it finally worked our way. We’ve been rewarded for that. Our hard work. “.
The young talent was one of the players who took responsibility in the penalty shootout. “The coach asked who wanted to kick and I raised my hand.
I’ve practiced a lot on it, so I have some confidence. I just wanted to put in the penalty to make people happy on the field.”
“A victory for the youth? We are of course happy that so many young Neerpede are on the field. We have grown up together so it is very good to play together at such a high level. That’s what you work for: for these great players.. moments and European match.”
My friend keeps her feet firmly on the ground. He concluded his speech by saying: “Tomorrow I will review a penalty kick, but now I will only sleep.”
“Subtly charming internet specialist. Avid writer. Friendly alcohol guru. Music ninja. Devoted social media fanatic.”