The American forward maintained his run of form, scoring from the penalty spot after racist chants from unruly Den Bosch fans rang from the stands in an ugly affair in Holland.Ugly scenes marred AZ Alkmaar's Dutch Cup match against FC Den Bosch in what should have been a celebratory occasion for U.S. international forward Jozy Altidore.
Altidore was the subject of racist monkey chants from Den Bosch fans in the first half of AZ's 5-0 victory over the second-tier side that booked a place in the semifinals of the competition.
Referee Reinold Wiedemeijer attempted to stop the match, but Altidore insisted that the game continue. The scene was reminsicent of AC Milan's friendly with Pro Patria, when Kevin-Prince Boateng walked off the field amid racist chants from the Pro Patria fans last month.
"It's a bit disappointing that these things still happen in this time that we're in, but what are you going to do? You just hope that these pepole can find a way to improve themselves and you can only pray for them," a stoic Altidore told the Eredivisie's official website in a postgame interview. "I feel like I have an obligation as a football player to my club and my family as well to not react to things like this and show that the club stands better of that and I was raised better than that to respond to such ridiculous behavior.
"You would hope that we as humanity can grow from these type of times, but at the end of the day it's still alive, racism, and all we can do now is try to educate ourselves, the young kids coming up to be better than that, that's all we can do," Altidore said. "All I can do is pray for [the fans] and hope they become better people."
Altidore struck back on the field, drawing a penalty and a red card off Jelle De Bock and converting from the penalty spot for his 20th goal in all competitions this season - a new career high.
De Bock yanked Altidore from behind in the area with two hands, getting sent off and giving AZ a spot kick. Altidore stepped to the penalty spot and tucked a right-footed shot inside the right post to give AZ a 4-0 lead in the 39th minute to answer the racist chants with his play.
"It's incredibly sad that this happens," AZ sporting director and former U.S. international Earnie Stewart said at halftime on Eredivisie Live. "Ridiculous. And all this after the events in recent months (the death of a Dutch linesman after a fan beating in December). The people at Den Bosch are ashamed of this. It's not only annoying for Jozy, but for Dutch football in general."
Fans reportedly hurled iceballs at the referee after a second Den Bosch player was sent off in the second half, forcing the game to be postponed.
Den Bosch's director reportedly addressed the supporters during the stoppage, and the game resumed. Altidore, who had a hand in AZ's third goal, also helped set up AZ's fifth, laying off a cross for Adam Maher, who finished from close range to complete the rout.
For Altidore, the goal was his eighth in his last six games. He has scored in three consecutive matches and five of his last six.
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