AZ Alkmaar hosted Lask on Thursday for the Round of 32 of the UEFA Europa League. The match was held at Afas Stadion, in the Netherlands, and ended up in a 1-1 draw. The visitors opened the scoring with a goal from Marko Raguz. The hosts equalized almost at the end of the match, with a penalty converted by Teun Koopmeiners.
As soon as the first minute arrived, the referee awarded AZ a penalty for a foul on Myron Boadu, however, VAR checked the play and canceled it. After that, the hosts continued pressing and had good chances in the first minutes.
The Austrian side, however, was also creating and after the 10th minute, they started to feel more and more comfortable in the match. Because of that, they broke the deadlock at the 26th minute. Gernot Trauner assisted Raguz, who used his right foot to put the ball into the back of the net.
At the beginning of the second half, things didn’t change that much. Lask continued putting pressure and creating chances, however, they were wasting all the good chances. AZ continued searching for the equalizer, but it was difficult.
Almost at the end of the match, at the 96th minute, the home side was awarded a penalty. VAR again checked it, but this time, it was confirmed. Koopmeiners stepped up and sent it to the nets.
With the draw, away from home, Lask opens the advantage in the fight for a place in the round of 16 of the Europa League. They now play for a 0-0 draw or even for a simple win. However, if they tie for 2 or more goals, the AZ team qualifies. The second leg match is scheduled for next Thursday.
Before that, the teams will play for their national championships on the weekend. On Sunday AZ Alkmaar will welcome Zwolle, while Lask will welcome Polten.