In the heart of the Dutch Eredivisie, football fans gathered at the Grolsch Veste for a match that would go down in history as a tale of familial rivalry and professional sacrifice.
Young Sem Steijn, a rising star in FC Twente, was about to face off against the team coached by his own father, Maurice Steijn, who helmed the mighty Ajax.
As the referee’s whistle signalled the start of the game, the tension in the stadium was palpable. Sem was eager to make his mark on the pitch.
His father, Maurice, stood stoically on the sidelines, a mixture of emotions churning beneath his composed exterior.
Seven minutes into the match, Ajax’s defence faltered, and Daan Rots thrust the hosts in front.
Four minutes later, Sem Steijn worked the ball into the net to double FC Twente’s lead, scoring a goal against his father’s team as the stadium burst into cheers.
Sem knew the implications of this moment. His father’s job as the head coach of Ajax hung in the balance.
Brian Brobbey gave Ajax a lifeline in the 35th minute when he pulled a goal back but Naci Unuvar sealed maximum points for FC Twente in the 79th minute when he restored a two-goal cushion for the visitors.
The final whistle blew, confirming FC Twente’s 3-1 victory over Ajax. Sem’s performance was nothing short of spectacular.
The 21-year-old attacking midfielder couldn’t help but feel a mixture of emotions as the players walked off the pitch.
He had scored against his father’s team, putting Maurice Steijn’s job on the line, but he had also demonstrated his immense talent and potential as a footballer.
It was no secret that Ajax was experiencing a lackluster start to the season, and the pressure on Maurice Steijn to turn things around was immense.
Ajax have a single win in four league matches this season and lie 12th on the 18-team long with five points while FC Twente are third on goal difference behind PSV Eindhoven and AZ Alkmaar – all the three teams with a perfect start to the season.