AZ tie in GroningenPublished on 17 november 12, 00:00
From the off, AZ looked the better side and were denied several opportunities by FC Groningen goalkeeper Luciano. Johann Berg Gudmundsson had a great chance when he got on the end of a Roy Beerens' cross but his header was fisted away by the Brazilian in goal. AZ threatened again through Adam Maher but he failed to convert his chance in front of Luciano's goal. The home side fluffed a golden opportunity when Andraz Kirm was denied by Esteban.
After the break, both teams created several chances to score but it was the home side who took the initiative when Tim Sparv netted from a free kick that took an unfortunate deflection hitting Kirm and Género Zeefuik on the way in making it 1-0.
With Verbeek's men 1-0 down, they eventually grouped together in search of the elusive goal and it paid off. Jozy Altidore combined with Maher in a cleverly worked one-two and the midfielder kept his composure in front of goal and fired low passed Luciano into the right corner drawing the game level 1-1.
After the goal, AZ worked hard to get the winner which included long range efforts from Maher, Erik Falkenburg and Steven Berghuis but they all missed precision. FC Groningen were limited to a solitary effort through Paco van Moorsel but he was unable to finish for the home side.
After the win against Vitesse and the draw against ADO Den Haag, AZ remain unbeaten in three consecutive away matches. Next weekend, AZ face Feyenoord at home on Sunday at 14.30 hrs.
FC Groningen - AZ 1-1 (0-0)
Lineup FC Groningen: Luciano; Johan Kappelhof, Virgil van Dijk, Kees Kwakman, Lorenzo Burnet; Maikel Kieftenbeld, Michael de Leeuw, Tim Sparv; Mitchell Schet (88. David Texeira), Género Zeefuik (66. Leandro Bacuna), Andraz Kirm (79. Paco van Moorsel).
Lineup AZ: Esteban; Dirk Marcellis, Etiënne Reijnen, Nick Viergever, Donny Gorter; Adam Maher, Markus Henriksen, Steven Berghuis; Roy Beerens, Jozy Altidore, Johann Berg Gudmundsson (39. Erik Falkenburg).
Goals: 56. Sparv 1-0, 72. Maher 1-1.
Bookings: De Leeuw (FC Groningen), Henriksen, Marcellis (AZ).
Referee: Jan Wegereef