Little spectacle in loss against AZ

17 April 2023
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2023 Fortuna AZ Inigo Cordoa

Fortuna was no match for AZ, the number four of the Eredivisie, on Sunday night. The team from Alkmaar proved 0-3 too strong.

At Fortuna, Burak Yilmaz was missing from the squad due to illness, with Paul Gladon taking his place. Fortuna played with five defenders, trying to disrupt AZ's attacking drive. In the early stages this worked reasonably well. Although the Alkmaar players had the ball a lot, head coach Pascal Jansen's team did not create any serious chances. The first major opportunity was for Jens Odgaard, but after twenty minutes his shot hit the side netting.

A few minutes later the Danish forward hit the target, on a pass from Tijjani Reijnders he saw his well-aimed effort disappear into the long corner: 0-1. AZ continued to dominate the game, doubling their lead three minutes before the halftime signal. Defender Milos Kerkez started a long rush on his own half, and he also remained extremely cool in his finishing: 0-2.

After halftime, Fortuna immediately made their presence felt on the offensive front, wanting to shake off the bad taste of the first half. Iñigo Córdoba was dangerous after a successful combination with Oguzhan Özyakup, but his shot ended up in the hands of AZ goalkeeper Mathew Ryan. Five minutes later, Córdoba was dangerous again, this time on a pass from Tijjani Noslin. Once again, Ryan was on hand.

In an attempt to get back in the game, Fortuna made a change offensively, with Úmaro Embaló making an appearance for Ximo Navarro. As a result, AZ, who last Thursday played Belgian Anderlecht in the quarterfinals of the Conference League, was given more space. Sam Beukema forced Ivor Pandur into a save, Vangelis Pavlidis came face to face with the Fortuna goalkeeper. Pandur had a fine save on his hands.

The Greek striker did get his goal six minutes before the end of official playing time, on a pass from Yukinari Sugawara he scored from close range in the short corner: 0-3. Fortuna substitute Thomas Buitink was still close to a counter goal for Fortuna, Ryan prevented a goal for the home club with a fine save, however.

Line-up: Pandur, Pinto, Guth, Siovas, Navarro (58’ Embaló), Vita, Bistrovic, Özyakup (82’ Tasci), Noslin (82’ Buitink), Gladon, Córdoba (86’ Erdogan).