AZ draws against BrannPublished on 28 augustus 23, 09:41
ALKMAAR - AZ played to a 1-1 draw against Norwegian side SK Brann at home on Thursday. The goal scorer for Alkmaar was captain Pantelis Hatzidiakos. The return leg awaits them next week in Norway.
Pascal Jansen made one change in the starting lineup compared to the match against RKC Waalwijk. Djordje Mihailovic started in the lineup for the first time this season, which meant Kenzo Goudmijn started on the bench.
AZ's first significant action came from Mathew Ryan. The Australian goalkeeper was immediately tested in the sixth minute, making a good save from a long-range shot. Shortly after, Ryan managed to get his hand on the ball just in time, maintaining a 0-0 score for his team.
On the other side, Jens Odgaard had two chances for a 1-0 lead. Riechedly Bazoer played a fine through pass to the Dane. Goalkeeper Mathias Dyngeland barely managed to make a save. Shortly after, Ruben van Bommel delivered a perfect cross, and again it was Odgaard who narrowly missed.
SK Brann Takes the Lead
Despite AZ's dominance in the second half, it was the Norwegians who took a 0-1 lead. Forward Niklas Castro found himself one-on-one with Ryan, remained composed, and slotted the ball into the far corner: 0-1. Following the conceded goal, Jansen immediately made changes by bringing Kenzo Goudmijn, Mayckel Lahdo, and Ernest Poku onto the field.
Hatzidiakos with the Equalizer
Lahdo's arrival immediately provided a boost. While the Swede came close with a fantastic shot in a tight angle, he set up Hatzidiakos moments later for a header from the rebound: 1-1. The Greek player didn't falter, and in the match where he equaled the record for the most European matches played for AZ, he secured the equalizer.
AZ doesn't have an Eredivisie match scheduled for the upcoming weekend. A weekend of rest has been planned so that the Alkmaar team can prepare optimally for the return leg in Norway.
AZ - SK Brann 1-1 (0-0)
UEFA Europa Conference League Play-offs
AZ Lineup: Mathew Ryan; Yukinari Sugawara, Riechedly Bazoer, Pantelis Hatzidiakos, David Møller Wolfe; Djordje Mihailovic (60. Kenzo Goudmijn), Dani de Wit, Sven Mijnans; Jens Odgaard (60. Ernest Poku), Vangelis Pavlidis, Ruben van Bommel (60. Mayckel Lahdo).
SK Brann Lineup: Mathias Dyngeland; Svenn Crone, Fredrik Knudsen (82. Japhet Sery Larsen), Ruben Kristiansen, Thore Pedersen (73. Joachim Soltvedt); Felix Myhre, Sivert Heltne Nilsen, Sander Erik Kartum (73. Ulrik Mathisen); Frederik Børsting, Bård Finne (88. Aune Heggebø), Niklas Castro (82. Moonga Simba).
Scoring: 59. Niklas Castro, 0-1; 71. Pantelis Hatzidiakos, 1-1.
Yellow Cards: Castro, Heltne Nilsen, Knudsen, Horneland (SK Brann).
Referee: Evangelos Manouchos (Gre)