AZ go into Europe after win over FC Groningen

Published on 06 mei 12, 00:00
ALKMAAR- Erik Falkenburg scored the only goal of the game in AZ´s 1-0 home win over FC Groningen. Finishing the season in fourth place, Gertjan Verbeek´s men have qualified for the  Europa League playoffs, following Feyenoord´s 2-3 victory at sc Heerenveen.

Putting on a great many sparkling performances, AZ were on top of the Eredivisie table for sixteen weeks, progressed to the Europa League quarter-finals and the KNVB Beker semi-finals. Yet all these successes had not yet materialised in meeting this season’s objective: straight qualification for the Europa League. In order to finish the campaign on a high note, AZ needed to beat FC Groningen in the final game of the season, while Feyenoord should complete the job by pulling off a win at sc Heerenveen.


The visitors had little to offer in the first period. After Niklas Moisander had sent a chip on to the bar, AZ deservedly took the lead after 26 minutes. Falkenburg was at the end of a well-worked move, set up by Simon Poulsen and Jozy Altidore, and the midfielder convincingly slotted home: 1-0. Holman wasted chances to double the lead.


AZ lacked efficiency in front of goal in the second half and survived two scary moments. David Texeira hit the post and Dusan Tadic had his effort cleared off the line by Simon Poulsen.

Verbeek: ‘Memorable season’

“It’s been a memorable season”, said Verbeek at the post-match conference. “We look back with pleasure at the 2011/12 campaign. It provides a solid foundation for next year, when we aim for a fourth or fifth place finish.” Verbeek: “I’m glad there is no more pressure on us. We will take things easy the next few days before we make a trip to Curacao where our main sponsors AFAS open a new building.”


AZ v FC Groningen 1-0 (1-0)

AZ line-up: Esteban; Dirk Marcellis, Niklas Moisander, Nick Viergever, Simon Poulsen; Adam Maher, Rasmus Elm, Erik Falkenburg; Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Jozy Altidore (66. Charlison Benschop), Brett Holman (74. Fernando Lewis (78. Ragnar Klavan)).

FC Groningen line-up: Luciano; Leandro Bacuna, Johan Kappelhof, Tim Sparv, Lorenzo Burnet; Petter Andersson, Tom Hiariej, Nicklas Pedersen, Dusan Tadic; Tim Keurntjes (67. Hyum-Jun Suk), David Texeira (78. Koen van de Laak).

Goals: 26. Falkenburg 1-0.

Booked: Kappelhof (FC Groningen).

Referee: Pol van Boekel

Attendance: 16.613