Bizarre: AZ fails to score on 20 shots; Feyenoord scores 3 in ten minutes
Thursday was a tumultuous day for Dutch football in the third Europea League qualifying rounds. While AZ failed to score a single goal against FC Marioepol despite having 20 shots, Feyenoord managed to score three goals in 10 minutes against Dinamo Tbilisi. The AZ vs FC Marioepol match ended 0-0, the Feyenoord vs Dinamo Tbilisi one ended 4-0.
AZ was clearly stronger than the Ukrainian team throughout the match, according to NOS. But despite coming to 20 shots, seven of them on goal, the Alkmaar team could not get one ball past Marioepol goalkeeper Rustam Khudzhamov. In the first half, Myron Boadu missed a goal, a kick by Calvin Stengs was blocked by Khudzhamov, and Thomas Ouwejan's free kick went wide. In the second half, Stegns again missed from a distance, Boadu saw a goal rejected, and a kick by Ouwejan was blocked by Khudzhamov.
Marioepol opted for an ultra-defensive playing style, resulting the the team creating hardly any opportunities for itself. All in all it seems a miracle that the score stuck at 0-0, according to the broadcaster. AZ coach Arne Slot has mixed feelings about it. "On the one hand, I was very happy that we created so many possibilities and that we were able to limit their counter chances to a minimum, but there could have been more here", he said to NOS.
AZ will face off against FC Marioepol again in the return in Alkmaar next week Thursday. If the Alkmaar team wins, they will place for the Europa League playoffs.
Feyenoord is already with one foot in the playoffs after the Rotterdam team's 4-0 victory over the Georgians in De Kuip in Rotterdam. Feyenoord started strongly and remained dominant throughout the match, but only made the scoreboard in the 42nd minute when Luis Sinisterra scored the first goal, according to Football Oranje. The game stalled a bit after that, until Dinamo Tbilisi's Akaki Shulaia got his second yellow card.
Playing against ten men, the match suddenly swung in Feyenoord's favor. In the last 10 minutes the Rotterdam team scored a massive three goals. The first was scored by Steven Berghuis with the help of Georgian defender Dvit Kobouri, who deflected Berghuis' free kick into his own net. A handball gave Feyenoord a penalty shot, which Berghuis made. And Luciano Narsingh brought the score up to 4-0 with a tap-in, according to the football site.
Feyenoord's return against Dinamo Tbilisi will be played in Georgia next week. With Feyenoord's 4-0 lead, Dinamo Tbilisi will have to bring more than their A-game to keep the Rotterdam team out of the playoffs.