Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

AZ Look Good to Reach the Last Four

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

AZ Look Good to Reach the Last Four

Article excerpt

Az alkmaar took a giant step towards a Uefa Cup semi-final encounter with either Newcastle or Sporting Lisbon after a dramatic first-leg win against Villarreal.

Robin Nelisse was the hero for the Dutch side, hammering home a second-half winner.

And with the Dutch high-fliers never having lost a Uefa Cup game at the Alkmaarderhout, Co Adriaanse's side will believe they have every chance of progressing to the semi-finals.

AZ had surged into an early lead when captain Denny Landzaat netted after 12 minutes, only for Juan Riquelme to grab an equaliser two minutes later.

Riquelme then wasted a supreme chance to put the home side into the lead from the spot, as AZ keeper Henk Timmer guessed right to brilliantly save his penalty.

But just when it seemed a draw was looming, Nelisse sprung up after 74 minutes to seal an unexpected win for Adriaanse's side.

The first half had started at a frantic pace, with both sides giving away a number of fouls. …

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