Liverpool loanee Kamil Grabara was at fault for both goals conceded as AGF Aarhus were held to a 2-2 draw by Vejle BK, and now faces a test of his resolve.
Grabara is certainly not a goalkeeper lacking in confidence.
In an interview with Polish publication Przeglad Sportowy in 2017 he labelled himself the best in the world, and described his favourite aspect of the position as being able “to upset people.”
Until now, however, he has not been able to do so at senior competitive level, having joined Liverpool from Ruch Chorzow in 2016 and taking up a role in the academy.
The 20-year-old made the loan move to Danish Superliga side AGF in January, and since then has established himself as David Nielsen’s first-choice stopper.
On Monday night, he made his seventh appearance for the club in the ‘relegation round’, where AGF are currently top of Group A and fighting for a place in next season’s Europa League.
But his role against Vejle was not a positive one, as Grabara’s side looked to dominate at Ceres Park only for their No. 1’s mistakes to hand the visitors two goals.
First, a poor kick out from the back found Vejle winger Serhii Hryn, who fed the ball for Vladlen Yurchenko to flick over to Allan Sousa and cancel out Jens Stage’s opener.
And then, with Jonas Andersen benefiting from an awkward bounce over the AGF defence, he allowed a simple shot to squeeze between his legs and put Vejle 2-1 up.
The hosts were able to salvage a draw through Patrick Mortensen’s last-minute equaliser, but the disappointment on Grabara’s face at the final whistle was clear to see.
While this can be considered a setback for Grabara in his young career, it should also be seen as a productive one, as he will now be challenged to respond.
He is first-choice goalkeeper at a top-flight side at just 20, and mistakes are inevitable, though AGF supporters will no doubt lament them coming at such a crucial stage of the season.
If he can recover in a similar way to when his error saw Maribor break the deadlock in the Liverpool U19s’ eventual 4-1 win in the UEFA Youth League last season under Steven Gerrard, he will make another great stride.
“As a goalkeeper, when you make a mistake the only thing you can do is make up for it, and he certainly did that in the second half and he made a couple of world-class stops and an excellent penalty save,” Gerrard said at the time.
“They asked us a question going 1-0 up but we found the answers and we found them emphatically.”
AGF’s next game is away to AC Horsens on Friday evening, giving Grabara an early chance to prove himself again.