AZ barely qualified for the third preliminary round of the Champions League in Alkmaar. The Alkmaarders won the Czech Viktoria Plzen.
After an extension of 3-1
Invalid Albert Gudmundsson was with two goals in the extension (in the 98th and 118th minute) the big man for the difficult playing team of trainer Arne Slot.
AZ is now assured of the group stage of the Europa League thanks to the victory.
Late equalizer Merchants
AZ forced an extension in regular playing time only in the fifth minute of injury time thanks to a punishing kick from Teun Koopmeiners. Just before that, substitute Ferdy Druijf was floored in the sixteen-metre area by Plzen goalkeeper Ales Hruska.
At first the North Holland clouds turned pitch dark above the AFAS stadium, after Plzen had come 0-1 due to a distance shot by David Limberský, in which goalkeeper Marco Bizot did not look good. He let the ball bounce over his hand at the shot.
In the extension it was after the 2-1 lead for AZ all hands on deck for the Alkmaarders. Plzen had quite a few chances on the equaliser, but Gudmundsson shot Czech hopes to smithereens with his second goal.
Benfica, Dinamo Kiev or AA Gent
AZ will play the third preliminary round of the Champions League against Benfica, Dinamo Kiev or AA Gent on September 15 or 16. Once again, this meeting concerns only one match. The draw will take place on 31 August.
The winner of the meeting qualifies for the play-offs, the loser moves on to the group stage of the Europa League.