AZ Alkmaar’s chances of reaching the semi-final of the Europa Conference League took a big blow after they lost 2-0 to Anderlecht.

Pascal Jansen had Jesper Karlsson back available, but he was only on the bench as Myron van Brederode began on the wing.

Bart Verbruggen has been excellent for Anderlecht in goal recently and the Dutchman kept Vangelis Pavlidis out early on. However, the early chance was a rare moment for AZ as they struggled to break down the Belgian side.

After 22 minutes, the hosts had the lead as Michael Murillo got ahead of Pantelis Hatzidiakos to head in a cross.

In the second half, AZ created more chances but Pavlidis put a header wide and Sam Beukema’s shot was blocked. Sven Mijnans had an excellent chance to score after an hour, but the midfielder fired the ball over Verbruggen’s goal.

Anderlecht held on and then doubled their lead with twenty minutes left as Majeed Ashimeru got the ball on the edge of the box before firing it past Mathew Ryan.

Karlsson came off the bench but he could not find a goal back for AZ, who have it all to do next week in Alkmaar.

admin (13230 Posts)

Follow @Footballoranje_ on Twitter