Sparta Rotterdam came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw with AZ Alkmaar. 

spatr-azAZ went into the game on the back of their 5-0 hammering at the hands of Zenit on Sunday, but they started brightly in Rotterdam and after only six minutes Guus Til rose in the box to head in the opening goal.

The visitors should have been further in front soon after but Fred Friday failed to latch onto a long ball in the box while Dabney Dos Santos fired wide with the goal gaping after being teed up by Illias Bel Hassani.

Sparta failed to really threaten Sergio Rochet in the opening half hour but on 36 minutes they drew level when Michel Breuer stabbed the ball into the net after indecision in the AZ defence. From kick off AZ went straight down the other end and were denied what looked a stonewall penalty when Bel Hassani was chopped down in the box, but the referee played on.

The second half failed to live up to the first with neither side able to take the ascendancy but it was Sparta who came closest to finding the winning goal as Rochet had to deny both Kenneth Dougall and Mart Dijkstra. In the final minute Sparta were reduced to ten men with Denzel Dumfries shown his second yellow card, but it did not affect the outcome of the match.

The point means AZ remain fifth while Sparta are 8th.

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