AZ advances to play-offs through Santa Coloma

Published on 17 augustus 23, 23:25

ALKMAAR - On Thursday evening, AZ secured their spot in the play-offs of the UEFA Europa Conference League with a 2-0 victory over FC Santa Coloma. Following a 0-1 win in Andorra, AZ emerged victorious with goals from Ruben van Bommel and Mayckel Lahdo in their own stadium under the guidance of Pascal Jansen.

On Thursday evening, Pascal Jansen chose the same eleven names as in the past Sunday's match against Go Ahead Eagles (5-1). Thus, Van Bommel was back in the starting lineup, who proved instrumental against Deventer with a goal and assist. Jens Odgaard also returned to the starting lineup after missing last week's match in Andorra.

AZ started the match strongly. In the first quarter-hour, the home team came close to scoring twice. However, Vangelis Pavlidis's header hit goalkeeper Josep Gómes, and the rebound went wide. Shortly after, Van Bommel, following a superb pass from Sven Mijnans, was unable to beat the Andorran keeper. AZ couldn't convert from several corners either.

Van Bommel
Shortly before the halftime whistle, AZ found the back of the net. After a fine pass from Pavlidis, Van Bommel noticed Gómes off his goal line. The forward executed a delightful lob over the goalkeeper for his first-ever European goal. With the lead, AZ went into the break.

Second Half
In the second half, AZ continued to create chance after chance. On Odgaard's delivery, Pavlidis had a close-range opportunity but couldn't get the ball past Gómes. A few minutes later, Dani de Wit shot a ball wide, and shortly after, Pavlidis failed to get the ball on target after Van Bommel intercepted the ball effectively.

With an hour on the clock, Jansen made substitutions. Alexandre Penetra and Lahdo entered the field, and the latter immediately made an impact with a good pass to De Wit, but once again, Gómes emerged victorious. Ernest Poku and Djordje Mihailovic were also brought in, and the former made his presence felt right away. Unfortunately, his first touch found the side netting.

AZ continued to hunt for another goal, but the woodwork thwarted their efforts. First, a volley from David Møller Wolfe, via Pavlidis, struck the post, and shortly after, Lahdo's powerful shot hit the opposite post. Soon after, the Swedish striker had better luck. Mihailovic escaped the offside trap, cut past Sergio Rodriguez, and tapped the ball aside just before the goalkeeper. There, Lahdo was present to easily tap the ball in: 2-0. That's where it ended, and thus AZ progressed to the Conference League play-offs. Their next opponent will be Norwegian side SK Brann.

AZ - FC Santa Coloma 2-0 (1-0)

UEFA Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round

AZ Lineup: Mathew Ryan; Yukinari Sugawara, Riechedly Bazoer (62. Alexandre Penetra), Pantelis Hatzidiakos, David Møller Wolfe (77. Denso Kasius); Jordy Clasie, Dani de Wit (70. Djordje Mihailovic), Sven Mijnans; Jens Odgaard (62. Mayckel Lahdo), Vangelis Pavlidis, Ruben van Bommel (70. Ernest Poku).
FC Santa Coloma Lineup: Josep Gómes; Andriy Markovych, Gerard Gomez, Sergio Rodriguez, David Crespo; Mario Mourelo (60. Moisés San Nicolás), Miguel Lopez (80. Guillem Jimenez), Daniel Toribio, Cristian Novoa (80. Virgili), Ivan Garrido (69. Marc Nierga); Eloy Gila.

Scoring: 41. Van Bommel 1-0, 78. Lahdo 2-0.
Yellow Cards: Mijnans, D. De Wit (AZ), Toribio (Santa Coloma)
Referee: Henrik Nalbandyan (Arm)
Attendance: 10,014.


UEFA Europa Conference League
AZ - FC Santa Coloma
donderdag 17 aug 2023, 20:45
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