AZ Alkmaar have reached the UEFA Conference League group stage after a nervy penalty shootout win over SK Brann. The game finished 3-3 on the night and 4-4 on aggregate.

After a 1-1 draw in Alkmaar last week, AZ had work to do in Norway and they took the lead after only 12 minutes. Mayckel Lahdo cut in from the wing and fired in the opening goal.

It was almost 2-0 shortly afterwards but Ruben van Bommel’s effort came back off the crossbar. In the 29th minute, Sven Mijnans did double the lead with an excellent strike from the edge of the box.

SK Brann then pulled one back before the break with Fredrik Knudsen getting ahead of Pantelis Hatzidiakos to head in.

Five minutes into the second half, AZ seemed to settle the game when Van Bommel finished a Lahdo cross cooly.

The hosts did not give up though, and Joachim Soltvedt pulled one back with a free-kick before Japhet Sery Larsen headed Brann level.

In extra-time, Ernest Poku and Mijnans had chances but could not prevent penalties. SK Brann did end the game with ten men after Felix Horn Myhre saw red.

In the penalty shootout, Mathew Ryan was the hero as his save led to AZ sealing their place in Friday’s group stage draw.

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