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Sheriff and AZ draw rendered meaningless

FC Sheriff 1-1 AZ Alkmaar
The points were shared in Tiraspol but both sides were eliminated after FC Dynamo Kyiv won 4-1 at FC BATE Borisov.

Sheriff's José Nadson (right) tries to shake off AZ goalscorer Brett Holman
Sheriff's José Nadson (right) tries to shake off AZ goalscorer Brett Holman ©Boris Kharchenko

FC Sheriff and AZ Alkmaar could not be separated in a 1-1 draw in Tiraspol but both were eliminated thanks to FC Dynamo Kyiv's victory at FC BATE Borisov.

Three points from their opening four matches had left both teams trailing the Ukrainian outfit by four points in Group E, and Kyiv's 4-1 success meant Brett Holman's first-half goal for AZ and Florent Rouamba's equaliser proved in vain for both clubs.

The home side started the brighter in Moldova and Gertjan Verbeek's men were thankful to goalkeeper Sergio Romero for keeping them on level terms seven minutes in when he thrust out a boot to deflect Jymmy França's effort over the bar after a testing cross by Vladimir Volkov.

AZ possessed more guile in attack, though, and they hit the front on 17 minutes when Rasmus Elm adjusted his feet quickly to slip in Holman, the Australian midfielder stroking his finish into the far corner. It could have been two before the break as Kolbeinn Sigthórsson turned adroitly before firing in a low strike that Dmitri Stajila did well to save.

Andrei Sosnitski's team had barely threatened Romero's goal but suddenly equalised after 54 minutes when Rouamba's swerving attempt from distance deceived the AZ custodian – quite a strike to bring up Sheriff's half century in UEFA club competition. The hosts then pressed unsuccessfully for a winner despite the fact both teams were resigned to their fate by that juncture.