Here’s a thing to always keep in mind with sports, something that every fan (myself included!) forgets pretty frequently: Playing them at the level you need to be able to reach if you play professionally is hard. The times that they mess up and struggle to do something that they normally make look easy are still, somehow, more athletic than anything that any of us schmucks would do if we were put into the exact same position.
I say all of that as a precursor to this clip out of Belgium, where KV Mechelen and KV Oostende squared off in a Jupiler Pro League tilt on Saturday. It was a meeting between two mid-table sides, and in the 67th minute of action, 17-year-old Mechelen midfielder Aster Vranckx had the chance to break a 0-0 deadlock.
Please look at the image at the top of this post. Ok? We’re good? Alright, here’s how that went.
— Eleven Sports (NL) (@ElevenSportsBEn) September 12, 2020
I have watched this a good 20 times and I still cannot believe he missed. Vranckx played the ball off of his chest, and normally when guys scuff these, it’s because they take their eyes off of the ball and start thinking of how they’re going to celebrate before it goes in. That doesn’t appear to happen here, and instead, he maybe expects the ball to bounce after it hits the ground and he rolls his foot over the top of it.
Vranckx is a youngster who made his first-team debut last year, and he already has two goals in his account, so fortunately, this wasn’t him missing a sitter to miss out on one of the biggest moments of a youngster’s career. Still, this could have gone better, both for him and his club — Mechelen lost, 1-0, after Oostende’s Jack Hendry scored in injury time.