AZ Secures Narrow Victory in AndorraPublished on 10 augustus 23, 23:14
ANDORRA LA VELLA - The first match against FC Santa Coloma in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa Conference League took place on Thursday evening. It was the first official game of the new season, and it concluded with a victory: 0-1. Djordje Mihailovic was the sole goal scorer of the evening.
The Estadi Nacional formed the backdrop for this match in an idyllic location. At an altitude of over 1,000 meters, the game kicked off on Thursday evening, with the imposing mountain peaks of the Pyrenees in the background. In the highest capital city of Europe, AZ started with two changes compared to the friendly match against Bologna FC. Dani de Wit and Jesper Karlsson both started in the lineup, which meant Djordje Mihailovic was on the bench.
Karlsson's Free Kick
The only highlight of the first half was a free kick from Karlsson. The Swede had the opportunity from about 25 meters out. His effort narrowly missed the goal defended by goalkeeper Antonio Gomes. Otherwise, there wasn't much to enjoy in the first 45 minutes.
Strong Start to the Second Half
AZ came out of the dressing room strongly and began the second half with vigor. Vangelis Pavlidis had a chance for a shot, but it was blocked by Santa Coloma's defense. Shortly after, Yukinari Sugawara unleashed a fantastic shot from about thirty meters out. His attempt narrowly missed the target. Then, debutant David Møller Wolfe delivered a cross to Dani de Wit. However, De Wit couldn't find the net against the Andorran team.
Taking the Lead
In the 74th minute, the breakthrough came for AZ. Sugawara took a free kick from the left side of the penalty area. The Japanese player delivered a precise ball to the chest of Mihailovic in front of the goal. The American, who had just been substituted, skillfully found the net and put his team in the lead.
AZ - Go Ahead Eagles
Next Sunday, AZ will also kick off their Eredivisie campaign. They will host Go Ahead Eagles at home at 14:30. Similar to last season, the match against The Eagles marks the opening game at the AFAS Stadium. Last time, the match ended in a 2-0 victory for AZ.
FC Santa Coloma - AZ 0-1 (0-0)
UEFA Europa Conference League Third Qualifying Round
FC Santa Coloma Lineup: Antonio Gomes; Andriy Markovych, Gerard Gomez (57. Moises San Nicolas), Sergio Rodriguez, David Crespo; Mario Mourelo, Miguel Lopez, Daniel Toribio, Cristian Novoa, Ivan Garrido (84. Marc Nierga); Eloy Gila.
AZ Lineup: Mathew Ryan; Yukinari Sugawara, Riechedly Bazoer, Pantelis Hatzidiakos, David Møller Wolfe; Jordy Clasie, Dani de Wit (68. Djordje Mihailovic), Sven Mijnans (65. Kenzo Goudmijn); Mayckel Lahdo (68. Ernest Poku), Vangelis Pavlidis, Jesper Karlsson (75. Ruben van Bommel).
Scoring: 74. Djordje Mihailovic, 0-1;
Yellow Cards: Crespo, Novoa (FC Santa Coloma), David Møller Wolfe (AZ).
Referee: Sayat Karabayev (Kaz)