AZ snatched third place away from Feyenoord after a comfortable last day victory away at Excelsior.

  • By Michael Statham
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AZEXC E3AZ raced into a two goal lead inside the first 6 minutes. The opener came from Aron Jóhannsson who, from a ball that bounced into the air off an Excelsior defender, rifled the ball into the roof of the net with a fine overhead kick. Steven Berghuis doubled the lead within two minutes of the first goal, slotting home from Jóhannsson’s pass.

The away side were very fluid in attack all afternoon. Markus Henriksen made it three when he casually took down a long ball over the top in the penalty area, cut inside and swiped the ball in via two small deflections.

Excelsior created very little in a disappointing first half. However they pulled a goal back on the stroke of half time when AZ gave the ball away in midfield, leading to Jordan Botaka’s right-wing cross and an own goal from Jeffrey Gouweleeuw, who inadvertently poked the ball into his own net whilst under pressure from Tom van Weert.

After the break, the visitors reopened their three goal advantage. Dabney Dos Santos crossed for Aron Jóhannsson, who headed in his second of the day and ninth of an injury hit season. It could have been more than 4 too, as Berghuis and Jóhannsson missed chances to add to their tallies.

The away end erupted at the final whistle as it was confirmed they would qualify straight into the Europa League for next season instead of having to earn the right through the playoffs. Their result in Rotterdam coupled with Feyenoord’s defeat in Zwolle mean AZ leapfrog Feyenoord into third.

The home side finish the season safe in 15th, but have now conceded 16 goals in their last 5 games at the Stadion Woudestein and end the season with no win in 9 games.

Michael Statham (721 Posts)

Writer/interviewer/YouTuber for Football-Oranje. Massive Dutch football fan from the UK. Follow me @EredivisieMike & subscribe to Football-Oranje on YouTube.