AZ stays totally within the race to achieve the knockout section of the Europa League. The Alkmaarders did not win in opposition to Napoli on Thursday (1-1, however are assured of wintering in Europe subsequent week with a win in opposition to Rijeka.
Regardless of a fierce begin, AZ is shortly behind
AZ owes this good beginning place partly to a mediocre efficiency by Actual Sociedad, which surprisingly didn’t get additional than 2-2 at dwelling in opposition to HNK Rijeka. Napoli leads with ten factors in group F, Sociedad and AZ observe with eight factors. Rijeka has already been eradicated.
AZ confronted a deficit in their very own AFAS Stadium after six minutes because of a objective from Dries Mertens, however early within the second half Bruno Martins equalized Indi and after that the crew of coach Arne Slot may have received.
Teun Koopmeiners specifically had a wonderful alternative to assist AZ win. Nevertheless, the captain noticed his penalty turned by goalkeeper David Ospina.
AZ kicks off in opposition to Rijeka subsequent Thursday at 6.55 p.m. in Croatia and joins the final 32 within the Europa League with a win. On the similar time Napoli takes on Sociedad at dwelling.
Zakaria Aboukhlal was surprisingly within the beginning line-up and was near scoring. (Picture: Professional Photographs)
AZ received the away match in opposition to Napoli 0-1 at the beginning of the group stage and confirmed no respect for the Italian prime membership in Alkmaar both. Proper from kick-off, Koopmeiners attacker Albert Gudmundsson put in place, who hit the skin of the publish.
The guests turned out to be simpler with the primary assault. Mertens, Napoli’s all-time membership prime scorer, poked the ball after a cross from Giovanni Di Lorenzo behind goalkeeper Marco Bizot.
Whereas Napoli bought alternatives to double the lead via Mertens specifically, AZ Zakaria Aboukhlal had the equalizer on his shoe. Regardless of a free capturing alternative, the Moroccan didn’t achieve crowning his stunning beginning place with a objective.
The hunt for the equalizer was rewarded early within the second half. After Calvin Stengs missed one other big alternative, defender Martins Indi scored from shut vary within the 54th minute with a good-looking heel.
Even earlier than Napoli had recovered from the shock, AZ had an infinite alternative to take the lead within the 59th minute. After a foul on Aboukhlal, the ball hit the spot, however Koopmeiners – final season nonetheless a certainty from eleven meters – shot the ball in opposition to the publish through Ospina’s fingertips.