Kjell Scherpen will regularly think back to the 57th minute of the match against AS Roma next night. The Ajax goalkeeper who made his European debut made a horrible mistake and initiated the 1-2 defeat.
“You get a ball like that a hundred times and you get it a hundred times”, the balding Scherpen told RTL7. The 21-year-old goalkeeper let a tenable free kick slip through his hands, giving Lorenzo Pellegrini the 1-1.
“I expected the ball to get there”, Scherpen said. “There were a lot of people in front of it and I went to the corner a little too early. What can I say? It was not good, a shame.”
“I always sleep badly after a game. That will certainly be no different now,” said Scherpen. De Drent started the season as the third goalkeeper, but due to the doping suspension of André Onana and a knee injury from Maarten Stekelenburg, he had to work against Roma.
Scherpen lets Pellegrini’s free kick slip.
‘Everything I did for a blunder is forgiven’
Until the goalkeeper’s blunder, there was little going on for Ajax, which had come to 1-0 via Davy Klaassen. The team from Amsterdam had chances for more hit, Dusan Tadic missed a penalty kick.
Scherpen himself also seemed to have little trouble with nerves. The goalkeeper skilfully saved in the first half on bets from Edin Dzeko and Bryan Cristante. “But everything I did for it was forgotten after that mistake”, the keeper realized.
The talented goalkeeper did not let his mistake take him out of his game in the remaining half hour. “You have to keep going. Such a mistake naturally lingers in your head, but you try to hold on to the first hour that went well . “
In the final phase, Scherpen had no chance with a hard shot from Roger Ibañez, who helped Roma to a 1-2 victory. “That was extra sour,” said the keeper. “We had the game under control. We have to score a lot of goals next week and straighten our backs.”
The return at the Stadio Olimpico is next Thursday. Ajax will have to win and score at least twice to reach the semi-finals.