AZ Alkmaar were eliminated by West Ham United in Thursday’s UEFA Conference League semi-final. The Alkmaar side lost the match 0-1 and lost 3-1 on aggregate.
AZ gained momentum with Jesper Carlsson returning from injury. The Swedish winger made his comeback last Sunday against FC Emmen in a 5-1 victory for AZ. It was the first game in about a month, and this game was the first starter. Jens Odgorde is still out due to injury and Myron van Brederode has taken over on the right wing.
In the first half, Lucas Paqueta worried AZ fans with a curler shot from a distance, but the shot went slightly over the post. AZ’s biggest chance of the first half came to Japanese right-back Yukinari Sugawara, but his attempt was blocked.
As in the first leg, the quality was poor and neither team created many chances.
West Ham defender Naef Ageld should have scored the first goal in the 82nd minute thanks to a good pitch from Mikhail Antonio, but the Moroccan’s shot flew wide.
West Ham started the game on the counter four minutes into stoppage time when substitute Pablo Fornals put the ball through the legs of the last defender and slammed it into the corner out of reach of Matty Ryan. Scored beautifully.
As the final whistle blew, the crowd roared and several players rushed over to try to calm the commotion. AZ will now focus on the final two games of the Eredivisie season. Pascal Jansen’s side are two points behind Ajax with one game to go. If they catch up with Ajax and finish third, they will qualify for the Europa League next season. West Ham will face Fiorentina or FC Basel in the final in Prague, Czech Republic.
https://nltimes.nl/2023/05/18/az-knocked-uefa-conference-league-west-ham AZ knocked out of UEFA Conference League by West Ham