AZ secure 2-0 win over IFK Göteborg
29 juli 2010
ALKMAAR- AZ have a good chance of advancing to the next round of the Europa League. The hosts enjoyed a 2-0 win over IFK Göteborg on Thursday night thanks to second-half goals from Ragnar Klavan and debutant Johann Berg Gudmundsson. The return leg will take place on 5 August.
After winning all of their nine pre-season friendlies, the encounter with IFK Göteborg was AZ´s first real test. AZ coach Gertjan Verbeek played three young strikers: Charlison Benschop, Erik Falkenburg and Johann Berg Gudmundsson. The latter made his AZ debut after an eighteen-month spell with the Academy.
The visitors from Sweden were threatened in the first half by Maarten Martens´ dangerous inswinging corners, with Falkenburg and Pontus Wernbloom flicking headers just inches wide. Martens had the best chance to open the scoring, but one-on-one with the Swedish goalkeeper he put the ball over the bar. Göteborg, who are having a poor run in the domestic league, restricted themselves to defending and did not create much. Yet Tobias Hysén came close to scoring for Blĺvitt when he fired wide on the turn.
AZ were rewarded for their dominance after the break with two goals in the space of just three minutes. First Klavan headed home from a Martens free-kick before Gudmundsson doubled AZ´s lead with a really lovely goal. The Icelander, who joined Young AZ in February 2009, unleashed a shot from the edge of the penalty area that curled beyond the goalkeeper’s outstretched arms into the top corner of the net. Joey Didulica pulled off a save in the closing stages to prevent Robin Söder from reducing the deficit for IFK Göteborg.
Gudmundsson scores AZ´s second goal.
Verbeek: ‘We deserved our 2-0 win’
AZ coach Verbeek felt that his side deserved their 2-0 win over IFK Göteborg.” I thought they had one chance after a defensive error but other than that we were fully in control.” And as to the two goals that AZ scored: “We frequently practise set pieces so it was good to see us rewarded for our efforts with the opening goal. Gudmundsson netted the second goal, superbly chipping the ball over the advancing goalkeeper. A 2-0 win is a good result. We now have a good chance of progressing to the next round, but I am sure Göteborg will give everything against us next week to make amends for tonight’s defeat. We must be cautious.”
AZ – IFK Göteborg 2-0 (0-0)
AZ: Joey Didulica; Dirk Marcellis (65. Gill Swerts), Kew Jaliens, Niklas Moisander, Ragnar Klavan; Pontus Wernbloom, Nick Viergever (71. Celso Ortiz), Maarten Martens; Charlison Benschop (46. Nick van der Velden), Erik Falkenburg, Johann Berg Gudmundsson.
IFK Göteborg: Marcus Sandberg; Adam Johansson, Gustav Svensson, Erik Lund, Ragnar Sigurdsson, Hjalmar Jonsson; Jakob Johansson, Thomas Olsson (60. Elmar Bjarnason); Stefan Selakovic (78. Robin Söder), Tobias Hysén, Hannes Stiller (84. Pär Ericsson).
Goals: 52. Klavan 1-0, 55. Gudmundsson 2-0.
Booked: Wernbloom (AZ), Hysén, Lund, Bjarnason (IFK Göteborg).
Sent off: -
Referee: Fernando Teixeira Vitienes.