AZ Alkmaar dominated on Thursday evening but they were held to a 2-2 draw by Randers in Denmark.

For the Europa Conference League group stage opener, Pascal Jansen decided to bench Zakaria Aboukhlal with Albert Gudmundsson returning to the starting line-up.

AZ had chances through Vangelis Pavlidis, Gudmundsson and Aslak Witry before Jordy Clasie opened the scoring in the 24th minute. Gudmundsson found the midfielder who hammered his strike into the net.

Randers hadn’t threatened but in the 27th minute they equalised with Simon Piesinger heading in after a free-kick caused confusion in the AZ box.

AZ restored their deserved lead through Pavlidis before the break but they got a lucky escape early in the second half when Piesinger hit the post.

The Dutch side had chances for a third but it was 2-2 in the 68th minute, as Simon Graves headed in from a free-kick.

The game ended 2-2 with Aboukhlal firing wide in stoppage time. AZ need to settle for a point, while in the group’s other game, Jablonec defeated Cluj 1-0.




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