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Austria Wien rally to thwart AZ

Published: Thursday 3 November 2011, 22.53CET
FK Austria Wien 2-2 AZ Alkmaar
Rasmus Elm and Pontus Wernbloom put the Dutch side firmly on top, but Manuel Ortlechner and Nacer Barazite struck to deny them a Group G win.
Austria Wien rally to thwart AZ
Nacer Barazite under pressure from AZ's Simon Poulsen ©Getty Images
Published: Thursday 3 November 2011, 22.53CET

Austria Wien rally to thwart AZ

FK Austria Wien 2-2 AZ Alkmaar
Rasmus Elm and Pontus Wernbloom put the Dutch side firmly on top, but Manuel Ortlechner and Nacer Barazite struck to deny them a Group G win.

FK Austria Wien fought back for a share of the points in UEFA Europa League Group G after AZ Alkmaar let a two-goal lead slip.

AZ recovered from 2-0 down at half-time to secure a 2-2 draw when these sides met on matchday three, and this game proved an eerie mirror image of that fixture. Goals from Swedish pair Rasmus Elm and Pontus Wernbloom put the visitors firmly on top at the break, but Manuel Ortlechner and Nacer Barazite struck in quick succession to set up a frenzied finale.

The Dutch league leaders went ahead on 19 minutes after Georg Margreitter was penalised for a handball; Elm sent Heinz Lindner the wrong way with a calm finish to the left. Dutch striker Barazite looked to spearhead a comeback, but Austria remained vulnerable. Roy Beerens will wonder how he failed to score after Adam Maher pulled the ball back to him in the box.

That miss was forgotten when Wernbloom got his head to an Elm corner a minute before the break, but Karl Daxbacher's decision to bring on Michael Liendl and Roland Linz proved inspired. Both played a part in Ortlechner's goal, with the Austria captain finishing on 58 minutes after Esteban Alvarado spilled Linz's point-blank shot. Three minutes later, the goalkeeper fumbled Tomáš Jun's powerful strike and Barazite thumped his side level.

It could have gone either way thereafter. Barazite fired across goal from the left, and Jozy Altidore shot straight at Lindner at the other end before Alvarado's nerves received another jolt, the Costa Rican producing a crucial save when Liendl's free-kick curled menacingly inside his right-hand post. Beerens had a shot charged down by Markus Suttner and another saved as AZ finished strongly.

Last updated: 15/12/11 23.28CET

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