AZ Alkmaar secured their second win in the Europa Conference League group stage on Thursday as they came away from Cluj with a 1-0 victory.

AZ struggled at the start of the season but their form has improved in recent weeks and their 5-1 win over Utrecht at the weekend showed the confidence in Pascal Jansen’s side.

AZ were the dominant force from the start with Jordy Clasie hitting the post in the 15th minute before Vangelis Pavlidis was denied by the host’s goalkeeper. After 18 minutes, AZ had a deserved lead with Jesper Karlsson heading in Yuki Sagawara’s cross.

AZ goalkeeper Peter Vindahl Jensen had to make a good save to deny Gabriel Debeljuh as Cluj got a rare chance, while Pavlidis had a goal disallowed before the break for offside.

In the second half, AZ had to hold onto their lead with the crossbar coming to their rescue five minutes before the end. AZ managed to hold on but they did lose Dani de Wit to a nose injury.

AZ are now three points clear at the top of the group with Jablonec and Randers drawing 2-2 in the group’s other game.

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