AZ Alkmaar are out of the Europa League after a poor 2-1 loss against HNK Rijeka in Croatia.

The mission was clear for AZ Alkmaar as a win in Croatia would seal their place in the next round. A draw was also fine if Napoli defeated Real Sociedad in the group’s other game.

Myron Boadu missed an early chance to give AZ the lead before Pascal Jansen lost Bruno Martins Indi after he was hit in the face. Jesper Karlsson then had a good chance for AZ but he couldn’t score after racing in on goal.

It was 0-0 at the break but that looked decent with Napoli winning 1-0 against Real Sociedad in the other game.

Out of nowhere, HNK Rijeka took the lead in the 51st minute with Luka Menalo keeping his cool when through on goal. However, AZ equalised six minutes later when Owen Wijndal’s powerful strike found the bottom corner.

It all went wrong for AZ in the 80th minute when Karlsson was shown a straight red card for a high foot. It seemed AZ would hold on for the 1-1 draw but in Italy, Real Sociedad equalised in the 92nd minute. Then in the final moment, HNK Rijeka won the game with Ivan Tomecak netting.

AZ are out of Europe after their first loss in the group. A promising campaign ends in failure.




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