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AZ look to go the distance against Shakhter

Published: Monday 7 October 2013, 2.00CET
A journey of around 4,400km beckons for AZ Alkmaar as they return to Kazakhstan to take on FC Shakhtar Karagandy in UEFA Europa League Group L.
AZ look to go the distance against Shakhter
Shakhter are the most easterly side to have appeared in a UEFA club competition group stage ©Dinara Baikadamova

Tournament statistics

ShakhterAZ

Goals scored5
 
11
Possession (%)34
 
66
Total attempts66
 
137
on target26
 
52
off target27
 
60
blocked13
 
25
against woodwork0
2
Corners25
 
43
Offsides4
 
14
Yellow cards11
 
17
Red Cards1
 
0
Fouls committed82
 
175
Fouls suffered60
 
135
Passes1566
 
6054
completed994
 
4964

Press kits

  • Match press kit (local language)

Standings

Group L

PPts
PAOK FC PAOK37
AZ Alkmaar AZ35
FC Shakhter Karagandy Shakhter32
Maccabi Haifa FC M. Haifa31
Last updated: 20/06/2014 00:27 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Monday 7 October 2013, 2.00CET

AZ look to go the distance against Shakhter

A journey of around 4,400km beckons for AZ Alkmaar as they return to Kazakhstan to take on FC Shakhtar Karagandy in UEFA Europa League Group L.

The longest journey in the history of UEFA group stage competitions will take AZ Alkmaar to Astana on matchday three to take on UEFA Europa League Group L rivals FC Shakhter Karagandy.

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time and it is Shakhter's first meeting with Dutch opponents.

• AZ met Shakhter's Kazakh league rivals FC Aktobe in the 2010/11 UEFA Cup play-offs, winning 2-0 at home and progressing despite a 2-1 defeat in Kazakhstan.

• The journey from Alkmaar to Aktobe is around 3,600km. To get to the forthcoming game in Astana they will have to travel over 4,400km – further than any team has ever travelled for a UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League group stage game. However, an even longer journey awaits Shakhter ahead of the return fixture on matchday four – Karaganda is just shy of 4,600km from Alkmaar.

Match background
• Shakhter picked up their first Group L point on matchday two with a 2-2 draw against Maccabi Haifa FC. They are unbeaten in their last seven European home games (W5 D2).

• Shakhter came within 90 minutes of reaching the UEFA Champions League group stage only to let slip a 2-0 first-leg advantage in the play-offs at Celtic FC. They nonetheless received the substantial consolation prize of a first UEFA Europa League group stage campaign.

• AZ are appearing in this group stage for the seventh time; losing UEFA Cup finalists in 1980/81, they made it through to the semi-finals after coming through the inaugural UEFA Cup group stage in 2004/05. In total, they have qualified for the knockout phase four times.

• AZ have won their last two European away games, and have four Group L points following a 1-1 draw at PAOK FC on matchday two.

Team facts
• Shakhter are the first Kazakh side to have reached a UEFA club competition group stage, and the most easterly club to have reached this stage.

• The distance between Shakhter's home town and that of the most westerly group stage contenders, Estoril Praia, is 6,358km – around one sixth the circumference of earth.

• Shakhtar are one of nine domestic champions appearing in this season's group stage while AZ are one of the 11 domestic cup holders in the competition.

• New AZ boss Dick Advocaat is one of four coaches in the group stage to have had their hands on the trophy before. PAOK FC's Huub Stevens, who won it as a player (PSV Eindhoven, 1978) and a coach (FC Schalke 04, 1997), FC Dnipro Dniropetrovsk's coach Juande Ramos (Sevilla FC, 2006 & 2007) and Tottenham Hotspur FC manager André Villas-Boas (FC Porto, 2011) are the others.

Coach information
• A Kazakh title winner in his first two seasons with Shakhter, 2011 and 2012, Russian-born Viktor Kumykov had his career as a goalkeeper cut short by injury when he was 24. He turned to coaching and led home-town club PFC Spartak Nalchik in Russia before embarking on a series of roles in Kazakhstan and then Uzbekistan. Visiting museums is one of his favourite pastimes.

• AZ dismissed coach Gertjan Verbeek ahead of matchday two. He had been in charge since 2010, and led the club to Dutch Cup success last season.

• Dick Advocaat was named as AZ's new coach on 16 October, returning to the club where he had spent five months in charge at the end of the 2009/10 season. Twice Netherlands coach, the 66-year-old won the 2007/08 UEFA Cup with FC Zenit, as well as national titles with PSV Einhdhoven (1997/98), Rangers FC (1998/99, 1999/2000) and Zenit (2007).

Last updated: 17/10/13 16.27CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2014/matches/round=2000469/match=2012546/prematch/background/index.html#azs+shakhter+voyage

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