AZ in fine fettle
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
AZ are on course for the quarter finals of the Uefa Cup after a 3-1 win in Donetsk.AZ Alkmaar are on course for the quarter finals of the Uefa Cup after a convincing 3-1 win at Shakhtar Donetsk.
The Dutch outfit have been surprise title challengers in their homeland this term and they are also mounting a bid for European silverware.
Goals from Robin Nelisse, Joris Mathijsen and Kenneth Perez did the damage as Shakhtar, who scored through Francesco Matuzalem, were left to rue a missed penalty.
There were few clear-cut chances in the match and AZ took the lead on 27 minutes via the first real opening as Nelisse flicked home Perez's corner.
Shakhtar had an immediate chance to level when Jan Kromkamp pushed Brandao in the box but Henk Timmer saved Darijo Srna's penalty.
The hosts did draw level in first half injury time as Julius Aghahowa showed good strength and awareness to tee up Matuzalem, who hit a scruffy shot past Timmer.
But AZ were back in front on 51 minutes when the impressive Tarik Sektioui crossed for Mathijsen to head home at the near post.
Sektioui almost got the goal he deserved midway through the second half as he ghosted past two players before curling a shot against the post.
In injury time, AZ surely put the tie beyond Shakhtar's reach as Tim De Cler won a penalty which was dispatched by Perez.