Spurs vs. Ajax: My Experience

By Dylan Shackelford
May. 09, 2020

I was walking across campus from my dorm to my American Sign Language class. It was pouring rain and the area was completely empty except for a few people who also had the misfortune of having a late afternoon class. The fact that not many people were around actually worked in my favor, as I did not want anyone to see what I was about to do. As I watched Lucas Moura score the winning goal against Ajax in the Champions League final, I screamed, sprinted at full speed, and tripped on the concrete. In the moment, I could care less what people thought. Spurs were going to the Champions League final for the first time in history.

Being a Spurs fan is never easy. There have been plenty of heartbreaks and bad days along the way, but I would not trade my club for anything in the world. I will support them until I die, no matter how many trophyless seasons we face. Because days like May 8th, 2019, make it all worth it.

I invited my Liverpool friend to my room to watch the match with my roommate and me. He was still on the high of the day before where his club knocked out Barcelona due to Trent Alexander-Arnold's play of the season. The match started and I was unable to sit down. I was pacing around my room until Ajax captain buried a header past Lloris. It was a nicely taken corner and the Dutchmen just had plenty of space to get his head to it. My room was silent. My Liverpool friend and my Manchester United roommate knew how much this club meant to me and seemed to pay a moment of respect to my feelings. I was gutted, but it was still early and we had a few good chances following the goal, I wasn't counting us out yet.

Hakim Ziyech, however, changed my mind on the possibility of a comeback in the 35th minute. The Moroccan international hit the ball so perfect that Lloris had no chance. 2-0 on the night, 3-0 on aggregate. Game over. I had already climbed into my bed and started crying. We were in uncharted territory. It felt like just being in the semifinals was a gift after what happened in Manchester, but I wanted more. Spurs fans wanted more. We have been waiting over 10 years for something big to happen to this club and we didn't want to wait any longer. It seems a certain Brazilian didn't want to either.

The first Lucas goal got me back on my feet. I remember giving a few loud claps and a "COME ON!" to bring energy back into the room. It seemed as if my friends were falling asleep. We still needed two more goals, but it was a start. Belief had entered my body again. "We are not done," I thought to myself. I remember it followed a great chance from Dele Alli, things were starting to pick up.

The second goal was chaos. I was already screaming at the TV after Llorente missed a perfect opportunity. Lucas had amazing footwork to set the shot up and buried it. My roommate nearly jumped out of his skin after my vicious clapping and "let's go" scream. I was fired up and the whole building knew it. I was not worried about having a CA called on me. We were one goal away.

I had to leave my room right after Vertonghen missed those two great chances and a winner started to look more and more unlikely. I put the game on my phone and walked out. The rain and dark sky just seemed fitting for the moment. Tears started falling from my face again. I almost turned the game off.

I was nearing the building my class was in and the game was winding down. I knew we only had one more chance as we approached the 95-minute mark. Sissoko booted the ball down the field for that final chance. Luckily, it took a lucky bounce and landed at the feet of Dele Alli. The through pass to Lucas was criminally underrated following this game, but that's another story. Lucas scores the winner at the same time, scrapes up my knees.

I have never felt that feeling before. It is impossible to describe. I was so overwhelmed and didn't know what to do. I almost felt as if I should skip class and go run laps around the football field. That was the moment I was waiting for. Years of supporting Tottenham and that goal made it all worth it. It wasn't a trophy, but it felt like it. It is unfortunate that it was the last big moment Mauricio Pochettino had with the club, but I will always have a special place for him in my heart for that magical day. The photo of Lucas celebrating is still the background on my laptop. I don't think I will ever change that.

Things aren't looking great at the club at the moment, as we will most likely miss out on Champions League qualification. I'm sure in a week or two I will be writing about everything the club is doing wrong, but today I celebrate the one year anniversary of the best moment of being a Spurs fan in my life.

Thanks for reading! If you have any suggestions, feel free to email me at dvshack99@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter @Murphydude9999. I am always looking for ways to improve my writing. Check back tomorrow for a new post.