Middlesbrough (H) | Azaz's Reaction
Finn Azaz scored perhaps the best goal in a 3-3 cracker between Argyle and Middlesbrough at Home Park on Saturday, and the grin that flickered across the face of the enigmatic midfielder’s face betrayed a sense of satisfaction with the strike.
Argyle had fallen behind against Boro, but had equalised through Bali Mumba, who completed a very fine move in which Azaz has provided the final, telling pass.
Mumba played his part in Finn’s goal, passing to him with a backheel then, along with Morgan Whittaker, making runs which Azaz used as a decoy, before curling from 20 yards or more, into the top corner of the net.
“It was a really good move,” said Azaz. “Bali flicks it and then Morgs and Bali both overlap to take the man away. It gives me a little bit of space; it was a really good team goal.
“It just happens really fast. I work on that, so it's nice for one of them to go in.
“[Before Mumba’s equaliser] initially, I was thinking, can I get a shot away? Then the two [defenders] came towards me, and I knew that Bali was there already because I just checked, I had a little look before.
“I just managed to squeeze it through and it's a great finish.
“Our front line, our front players and our team going forward as a whole, because we've been together for quite a long time, we know each other really well. It's nice to have those relationships with different players. You know where they're going to move, and you know how they're going to behave.
“I think that's probably contributed a lot to the success in scoring goals, particularly at home.”
Even after coming back from a goal down to lead, Argyle fell behind again in the second half, with a talented Middlesbrough side roaring backing into the game to take a 3-2 lead, but Argyle rallied once more and levelled via Morgan Whittaker to earn a point.
The character shown by Argyle was very commendable, and the game was an immensely enjoyable one to watch. For Azaz, while valuing the game and situation after the fact, says that for players in the thick of the action, it hard to appreciate while it is ongoing.
He said: “I wasn't thinking: ‘I'm enjoying this’. I was just thinking about trying to win the game or trying to get back in the game.
“You can't really enjoy it in the situation, just because you're in game mode and you want to win.
“It's disappointing when you feel like you're on top and then they go and score. But they're a good team, so we did really well to recover.
“A lot of teams would go under there. We've done so well to recover from that. That takes so much character. They're a good team, so sometimes you’ve just got to hold your hands up. We had a tough time at the start of the second half, but to bounce back, I think is really good.”