AZ Alkmaar 1-2 FC Dynamo Kyiv
AZ suffered only their second defeat in 40 European home games as Dynamo Kyiv revived their UEFA Europa League ambitions.
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AZ Alkmaar suffered only their second defeat in 40 European home games as FC Dynamo Kyiv revived their UEFA Europa League ambitions.
Bottom of Group E at the start of the day, first-half goals from Artem Milevskiy and Yevhen Khacheridi helped Oleh Luzhny's visitors leapfrog their opponents into second place. Erik Falkenburg scored in between, but the Dutch hosts wasted several chances to deny Dynamo the rarest of away victories in Alkmaar.
After the chastening defeat at FC Sheriff that signalled the end of Valeri Gazzaev last time out, the Ukrainian side would have been forgiven some initial hesitancy. There was none, as Dynamo began brightly, committing men forward. On 14 minutes their purpose was rewarded. Ognjen Vukojević ran unchecked deep into the AZ half before laying off for Roman Eremenko, whose cross was side-footed in by Milevskiy.
Perhaps it came too soon because Dynamo retreated, defending deeply and looking to hit on the counterattack. It allowed AZ to gain a foothold, with Brett Holman thriving in the space now afforded them. The Australian international helped unlock the visitors' back line on 33 minutes, combining with Falkenburg to release Jonathas but goalkeeper Maxym Koval came out quickly and decisively.
The warning was not heeded: within two minutes the trio combined to equalise. This time Jonathas turned Holman's pass into Falkenburg's path and the 22-year-old slotted inside the far post. Back came Dynamo, instantly rediscovering their attacking verve. Sergio Romero tipped Eremenko's low shot around the upright but from the resulting corner Khacheridi rose, unmarked, to head in.
Dynamo did not back off as much this time, defending much higher. AZ found it infinitely harder, but the introduction of Kolbeinn Sigþórsson midway through the second period brought fresh impetus. Leandro Almeida and Khacheridi made goal-line blocks while the best chance fell to Jonathas, who headed Sigþórsson's cross wide with the goal at his mercy. Niklas Moisander's dismissal added insult to injury in added time.