AZ Tempt The Fates And Win A Bittersweet Title.By: The Offside | April 20th, 2009
One title down: AZ, with nine fingers firmly on the trophy since roughly November, expectedly won their second Dutch Eredivisie championship this weekend – becoming only the second squad outside of the Dutch Big Three (Ajax, PSV & Feyenoord) to win a title since 1963. A monumental accomplishment crowning a magical season, one which saw them roll into the weekend’s fixtures undefeated since the second weekend. Seven months of nearly flawless football.
At least it was until Saturday, when they were shocked at home by Vitesse Arnheim, only winning the title when Ajax lost on Sunday. Why? Because they tempted the fates, of course.
As everyone knew, AZ’s title had been in the bag for sometime. Not only had Louis Van Gaal built this fantastic juggernaut, but they showed no signs of stopping. Every week you expected them to slip, every week they came out with another victory. But Vitesse Arnheim, a team nothing short of mediocre, came into Alkmaar on Saturday and handed AZ their first home loss since the season’s opening fixture. No small feat considering AZ had turned DSB Stadion into a veritable fortress, conceding four at home all year for a +32 goal differential coming in.
Since they only needed one point for the title and the game was level late in the fixture, KNVB and AZ suits brought the trophy out onto the sidelines. They must be dense, right? Everyone out of diapers knows you never, ever tempt the gods like that. And just in case you needed further reminder, watch from 1:08 on – the silver case is carrying the Eredivisie title plate.
There’s no way Vitesse’s second goal, in the 84th minute, goes into the net without divine intervention and/or Diego Maradona somewhere in the vicinity. A looping deflection of such accuracy from that distance? Never.
AZ were surely afforded a hiccup or seven by now, so the loss is far from humiliating but this is hardly the appropriate end to a stellar season. In fact, it’s nothing short of incredibly ironic. A team
which goes undefeated for seven months finally wins the title, but only after losing the day before.
Let this be a lesson to ye all: never tempt the football gods. They aren’t a forgiving lot.