AZ Alkmaar sprung a big surprise in the Europa League as they beat Spanish side Athletic Bilbao 2-1 at the AFAS Stadion.

henrik az bilbaoAthletic Bilbao lined up in Almaar with a second string, but they still dominated the possession and Coutinho had to make smart saves to deny Borja Viguera, Ager Aketxe and Eraso.

However it was AZ who came the closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half as Dabney Dos Santos cross landed at Ben Rienstra’s feet on the edge of the box, but the midfielder’s rising shot came back off the bar.

Ten minutes into the second half AZ took the lead as Muamer Tankovic sent Markus Henriken through on goal with a terrific pass and the midfielder made no mistake with his finish. After the goal Athletic threw on top scorer Aritz Aduriz and Raul Garcia to turn the game around, but on 65 minutes the home side’s lead was doubled after Boveda turned¬†Ridgeciano Haps cross into his own net.

Fifteen minutes before the end Aduriz fired Athletic Bilbao back into the game, but despite pressure from the Spanish side AZ held on for a famous victory.

AZ are now level with Bilbao in second place in the table behind Partizan Belgrade who beat Augsburg 3-1 in the group’s other tie.

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