Status: 22/09/2023, 16:21 p.m.
By: Frederic Rist
Sensation on matchday one of the UEFA Conference League: Zrinjski Mostar overcomes a 0-3 half-time deficit against AZ Alkmaar. Legendary coach and TV pundit Dick Advocaat makes a hasty statement of arrogance.
Mostar – It looked like a clear affair. Zrinjski Mostar, the first team from Bosnia and Herzegovina to qualify for the group stage of a European Cup, were 0-3 down at half-time in the UEFA Conference League opener against AZ Alkmaar. Eintracht Frankfurt will also start in the Conference League this year and have a good chance of winning the title. Myron van Brederode (10'), Sven Mijnans (32') and Dani de Wit (44') gave the Dutch Eredivisie leaders a 3-0 half-time lead.
|Foundation:||1905 (Oldest football club in Bosnia and Herzegovina)|
|Stadium capacity:||25,800 seats|
|Greatest successes:||Eight-time Bosnian-Herzegovinian champion and two-time cup winner|
Coaching legend Dick Advocaat mocks Zrinjski Mostar's performance at half-time
At half-time, the Dutch looked like the sure winner. This prompted coaching legend Dick Advocaat, who has already coached Borussia Mönchengladbach and the Dutch national team and works as a TV pundit for Dutch television, to make fun of the Bosnian debutants at half-time.
"It's unbelievable that teams like this are allowed to play in the European Cup," said the 75-year-old after AZ Alkmaar's 3-0 half-time lead. But just a few minutes later he was proven wrong: Zrinjski Mostar turned up the heat after the break. 45 intense minutes and 4 Mostar goals later, the debutant defeated Alkmaar 4-3. The Bosnian newspaper "Sportsport" celebrated the victory as "the miracle of all miracles - a victory that will be talked about for decades". He currently coaches his youth club ADO Den Haag.
Once again caused a verbal slip-up: Coaching legend Dick Advocaat mocked Zrinjski Mostar at half-time. © IMAGO / Pro Shots
"Of course they don't win 8-0": Advocaat has already caused a verbal slip as national coach
But it wasn't Advocaat's first bout of arrogance. When he fought for qualification for the World Cup in Russia in 2017 as coach of the Dutch national team, the toughest opponent for second place behind the sovereign league leader France was Sweden. With both teams tied on points, it became apparent that goal difference would determine qualification. Against this background, the 75-year-old was asked before the Swedes' match against the underdogs from Luxembourg how high the victory would be and whether even an eight-goal shooting festival would be possible.
"What a stupid question. Of course, they don't win 8-0," Advocaat said before the game. The following day, Sweden beat Luxembourg 8-0 and went into the head-to-head clash with the Dutch with a seven-goal lead. Although they won 2-0 against the Scandinavians, they could not qualify for the World Cup due to the worse goal difference.