AZ Alkmaar have kept their chances of Europa League progression alive after a 0-0 draw in Israel over Maccabi Tel Aviv.

az-jjjJohn van den Brom’s side headed into the game bottom of the group and desperately needing to avoid a second straight defeat to Maccabi Tel Aviv if they were to have any chance of reaching the next round.

The home side started brightly but AZ’s defence held firm and on 26 minutes they got a good chance to take the lead but Ben Rienstra shot wide after being picked out by Illias Bel Hassani.

In the second half, Robert Muhren and Dabney Dos Santos came off the bench and both had great chances to open the scoring but Maccabi tel Aviv goalkeeper¬†Predrag Rajkovińá denied the attackers. At the other end a defensive error nearly gifted Maccabi Tel Aviv a goal with Sergio Rochet misjudging Wout Weghorst’s pass, but the home side couldn’t benefit.

The draw moves AZ onto two points, but they are still in contention to overtake both Maccabi Tel Aviv and Dundalk, who lost in Russia against Zenit st Petersburg, who have been confirmed as group winners.

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