FK Austria Wien's nerve failed them in the Netherlands as AZ Alkmaar struck twice in three minutes to earn a 2-2 UEFA Europa League Group G draw and avoid what would have been only the third UEFA club competition home defeat in their history.
Having coped ably with a second-half onslaught after taking a two-goal lead before the break, Austria came unstuck when Peter Hlinka slid in to put Fernando Lewis's cross past his own goalkeeper with ten minutes to go. Three minutes later, Pontus Wernbloom got the faintest of touches to a corner from the left to make it 2-2, though both sides might have added to their tallies before the end.
Austria were handed the lead on 19 minutes. Zlatko Junuzović had seen a free-kick acrobatically saved by AZ goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado before delivering a corner which Dirk Marcellis directed into his own net. The home side responded ably but without reward, Rasmus Elm firing off target from a free-kick and Wernbloom heading over from under the crossbar after charging in to connect with a corner.
Karl Daxbacher's men soaked up the pressure and went on to double their lead when the impressive Nacer Barazite battled down to the touch line and cut the ball back for Tomáš Jun. The Czech's shot was blocked by Ragnar Klavan, but Alexander Gorgon threaded tidily past Alvarado from the rebound.
Austria goalkeeper Pascal Grünwald then helped preserve that advantage, staying on his feet to deny Adam Maher as he bore down on goal. The visitors set up to withstand an onslaught after the break but would have extended their lead had Alvarado not swatted a Barazite shot wide. Instead, their resistance collapsed with dizzying speed in the closing stages, before Niklas Moisander's late dismissal brought the drama to a close.
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