The first leg of the Eredivisie play-offs for the last remaining Europa League place ended with Groningen holding AZ to a 0-0 draw at the AFAS Stadion.

advocaat azThe home side dominated from the start, but failed to really trouble the Groningen defence with winger Johann Gudmundsson starting through the middle, as star striker Aron Johannsson was only fit enough for the bench.

Celso Ortiz and Steven Berghuis had the best opportunities for AZ in the first half, but their shots from outside the box were both just wide, while Groningen were forced to play on the counter, with Tjarron Chery having a shot saved by Esteban.

With 25 minutes to go, AZ brought on striker Aron Johannsson, and it was the striker who had the best chance of the game, but his weak header from the middle of the box was easily saved by Marco Bizot.

The match petered out to a limp 0-0 draw, in what is Dick Advocaat’s last game in charge of AZ at the AFAS Stadion, before Marco van Basten takes over.

Both teams will return for the second leg on Sunday at the Euroborg Stadium, with the winner progressing to the Europa League.

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