Substitute Marek Mintál scored two late goals as 1. FC Nürnberg came from behind to defeat AZ Alkmaar and revive their hopes of qualifying from UEFA Cup Group A.
De Zeeuw opener
The Dutch visitors took the lead at the Frankenstadion with a strike from midfielder Demy de Zeeuw in the 29th minute, but Mintál – who had replaced Leon Benko in a tactical switch soon after – turned the tide in Nürnberg's favour by finding the net in the 83rd and 85th minutes to hand coach Hans Meyer a first win in the section. Both clubs retain contol of their own destiny going into the final round of fixtures on 20 December, when AZ entertain pool winners Everton FC and Nürnberg travel to point-less Larissa FC.
AZ had given home goalkeeper Jaromír Blažek a couple of nervous moments before the Czech was beaten by De Zeeuw's low shot, the goal created by a raid down the right flank from Moussa Dembélé. Louis van Gaal's side came close to doubling their advantage before half-time as Kew Jaliens headed against the post after rising to meet a Sébastien Pocognoli free-kick awarded following a foul on the lively Dembélé.
The Bundesliga outfit had struggled to penetrate the AZ defence before Mintál did just that, twice. Another substitute, Ivan Saenko provided the assist for the equaliser by picking out his fellow substitute who smashed a shot from just inside the penalty area into the bottom-left corner. Two minutes later defender Dominik Reinhardt broke down the right flank and found Mintál with an intelligent pass. The Slovakia forward found space in the box and again beat goalkeeper Boy Waterman with a cool finish.