AZ Ends Pre-Season with a WinPublished on 07 augustus 23, 11:38
ALKMAAR - AZ ended their pre-season with a victory on Saturday afternoon. Bologna FC was the opponent at their own AFAS Stadium. Ernest Poku scored the only goal of the match. With this win, AZ concludes their pre-season unbeaten.
Pascal Jansen made three changes compared to the friendly match against Southampton FC. Poku, Jesper Karlsson, and Mees de Wit started on the bench. In their place Mayckel Lahdo, Myron van Brederode, and David Møller Wolfe played. AZ faced Sam Beukema, a former player, in the Italian team.
Exciting news surfaced before the match with the Italians regarding our captain, Jordy Clasie. Our number eight extended his contract until 2025. This means AZ will continue to enjoy Clasie's brilliant passes for even longer.
It was clear from the start that AZ aimed to end this friendly match with a victory. They hadn't lost during the pre-season campaign. They had defeated Standard Liege, Lech Poznan, Club Brugge, and Southampton. On Saturday afternoon, players like Lahdo, Van Brederode, and Vangelis Pavlidis pressed forward aggressively. With wingbacks Møller Wolfe and Yukinari Sugawara joining the attack, the Alkmaar team created increasing pressure on Lukasz Skorupski's goal.
Chances for AZ
The chances were mainly for AZ. Møller Wolfe sent a shot just over the bar from Van Brederode's pass, and the same left-winger unleashed a powerful shot after a good move by Lahdo. However, both attempts didn't result in goals.
AZ started the second half with a changed lineup. Players like Ernest Poku, Tiago Dantas, and Kenzo Goudmijn got the chance to show themselves. Poku made an immediate impact at the beginning of the second half. He received the ball from Lahdo, dribbled towards the Italian goal, cut inside, and beautifully shot into the top left corner: 1-0.
AZ remained the dominant side and created more chances. An excellent strike from substitute Jesper Karlsson hit the crossbar. His second attempt was saved by Skorupski shortly after. A shot from Goudmijn narrowly missed the target. That solitary goal in the AFAS Stadium was all there was.
Start of the Football Season
For AZ, the new football season begins with an away match in Andorra. They will face FC Santa Coloma in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa Conference League. Next Sunday, Go Ahead Eagles will visit for AZ's first Eredivisie match of the season.
AZ - Bologna FC 1-0 (0-0)
AZ lineup: Mathew Ryan (75. Hobie Verhulst); Yukinari Sugawara (46. Denso Kasius), Riechedly Bazoer (46. Aleksandre Penetra), Pantelis Hatzidiakos (46. Jesper Karlsson), David Møller Wolfe; Jordy Clasie (46. Tiago Dantas), Sven Mijnans, Djordje Mihailovic (46. Kenzo Goudmijn); Mayckel Lahdo (60. Jens Odgaard), Vangelis Pavlidis (46. Ernest Poku), Myron van Brederode (46. Ruben van Bommel).
Bologna FC starting XI: Lukasz Skorupski; Lorenzo De Silvestri, Sam Beukema Jhon Lucumi, Tommaso Corazza; Jerdy Schouten, Lewis Ferguson, Niklas Pyythia, Nicolas Dominguez; Joshua Zirkzee, Antonio Raimondo.
Scoring: 48. Ernest Poku 1-0.
Referee: Dennis Higler.