AZ Alkmaar has reached the Europa Conference League semi-finals after a penalty shootout win over Anderlecht. The clash finished 2-2 on aggregate after a 2-0 win for AZ.

Down 2-0 from the first-leg, AZ needed a quick start and it is exactly what they got as Vangelis Pavlidis netted twice in the opening fifteen minutes. The first was a penalty after a foul by Michael Murillo before the striker finished off a well-crafted move started by an excellent pass from Tijjani Reijnders.

Pavlidis scuffed a chance to score his hattrick and Milos Kerkez also missed a big chance as AZ went into the break 2-0 ahead. Pavlidis did not reappear for the second half after an injury and Mayckel Lahdo came on.

AZ remained in control but they could not find the third goal with Kerkez hitting the post, while Bart Verbruggen also made a number of saves.

The game headed to extra time and Jens Odgaard thought he had won it for AZ, but his goal was disallowed for offside.

A penalty shootout was needed and AZ came out on top as they netted all four of their spot kicks. The winning penalty was netted by young striker Mexx Meerdink, who will now start for AZ’s U19s in their UEFA Youth League semi-final against Sporting tomorrow.

AZ will now face AA Gent or West Ham United in the semi-final.




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