Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Alkmaar Take Victory in Their Stride

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Alkmaar Take Victory in Their Stride

Article excerpt

Last season's Uefa Cup semi-finalists AZ Alkmaar got their Group D campaign off to a winning start with victory at Dnipro.

The visitors cruised into a 2-0 lead with goals from Shota Arveladze and Tarik Sektioui, before Sergey Matiukhin pulled one back with 20 minutes remaining.

The home side started strongly with Dmitri Semochko having the first shot of the game well saved by Henk Timmer in the AZ goal in the sixth minute. AZ were soon into their stride, but wasted two good chances inside the opening 10 minutes.

Kenneth Perez curled a free-kick straight into the arms of home keeper Artem Kusliy, then Sektioui shot wide from inside the six-yard box.

It proved a sign of things to come as AZ went ahead in the 15th minute, Arveladze slotting the ball into the bottom left-hand corner from six yards.

The goal seemed to shake Dnipro's self-belief and they struggled to make inroads towards the AZ goal for the rest of the half. The best chance they did create came from a set-piece with Alexsandr Melaschenko heading Sergey Nazarenko's corner over the bar from close range. …

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