Ten-man AZ Alkmaar held out to secure a 1-1 draw away to Zenit St Petersburg in their opening clash.
Zenit unable to break down Dutch outift
Ten-man AZ Alkmaar held out to secure a 1-1 draw away to Zenit St Petersburg in their opening Uefa Cup Group A clash.
The Dutch side took an early lead when Brazilian striker Ferreira Ari fired them ahead with 20 minutes on the clock.
But for the remainder of the half, Cypriot referee Costas Kapitanis took centre stage, dismissing Ari in the 39th minute, awarding the home side a penalty and booking five more AZ players in the space of 19 minutes.
Zenit levelled from the spot two minutes before the interval when Anatolii Tymoschuk made no mistake from 12 yards after Andrei Arshavin had been brought down in the box by Kew Jaliens.
In comparison to the events of the first half, the second period was a tame affair, although the Russian league leaders did not have things all their own way as AZ continued to push forward despite their numerical disadvantage.
Holland Under 21 international Boy Waterman and home goalkeeper Kamil Contofalsky were both kept busy as both teams pressed for the three points with Kapitanis issuing two further late bookings.