De Wit shoots AZ past Dnipro in the Conference League
AZ have won their first match in the group stage of the Conference League, UEFA’s third competition. Pascal Jansen’s team defeated Dnipro by a scoreline of 0-1. Due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, the match was played in the Slovakian city of Kosice.
There were few highlights in the match. Dnipro seemed to take the lead after 18 minutes when Sam Beukema nearly put the ball into his own goal. The goalpost saved AZ, who could not create many chances of their own.
In the second half, a disappointing AZ showed some flashes of danger. After a pass from captain Jordy Clasie Hakon Evjen hit the ball into the side netting after 52 minutes. Jens Odgaard was, by pure luck, also close to breaking the deadlock. The striker wanted to cross the ball but did not strike it properly. Only the crossbar was able to stop his effort going in.
Jansen brought three players onto the pitch, one of them Yukinari Sugawara. The Japanese full-back crossed a low ball into the box after 63 minutes. Dani de Wit was in the right place to score: 0-1. Beukema was close to a goal shortly after, but the defender headed wide from a corner.
AZ, which reached this competition after three qualification rounds, faces FC Vaduz next week in the second match week. The club from Liechtenstein started the group stage on Thursday with a draw (0-0) against Apollon Limassol.
Reporting by ANP