THURSDAY 29TH & FRIDAY 30TH AUGUST
QUALIFYING PLAY-OFF – SECOND LEG
FEYENOORD 1-2 KUBAN KRASNODAR
Kuban win 3-1 on agg.
Ronald Koeman’s season is going from bad to worse after Feyenoord crashed out of the Europa League at the qualifying stage at the hands of Russian Premier League side Kuban Krasnodar.
Feyenoord were awarded an early penalty after just two minutes of play, when Samuel Armenteros, a recent signing from Anderlecht, was tripped over in the box. However, the usually profilic Graziano Pelle saw his spot kick saved by goalkeeper Aleksandr Belenov.
In a high-octane opening of the match, the hosts saw themselves ahead on seven minutes with Pelle, this time, finishing his chance. After being played through by midfielder Lex Immers, the Italian finished the move well for Feyenoord to draw level on aggregate.
Feyenoord’s lead was not for long, as Krasnodar equalised on 18 minutes. Another defence splitting ball saw Gheorghe Bucur sped past Daryl Janmaat, and stopping the ball on the byline, crossing for Ivelin Popov to finish with ease.
The sides went in level at half-time and just five minutes after the interval, the Russians shocked Koeman’s side with a second goal. The creator turned goalscorer as Bacur finished with a excellent volley from outside the penalty area.
The Dutch side pushed looking for a way back into the tie but failed to trouble the organised Krasnodar defence, as they saw out the win.
Feyenoord are now the third Eredivisie team to be eliminated before the group stages, not a good stat for the Dutch UEFA coefficient for future tournaments.
AZ ALKMAAR 0-2 ATROMITOS
3-3 on agg. – AZ Alkmaar win on away goals rule
In a Europa League first, this tie was played over two different days as AZ Alkmaar advanced to the group stages. The Dutch side went through despite the 2-0 home defeat to Greek side Atromitos, they progress on away goals after the 3-1 victory in the first leg.
Inside the first minute, AZ Alkmaar found themselves down to ten men, when Marcus Henriksen was sent for a early bath for a challenge on Javier Umbides. The red card was very harsh as replays showed that there was minimal contact between the players.
The Greeks had a glorious chance to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty on 18 minutes. AZ goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado, who gave away the spot-kick, redeemed himself to save the penalty from Dimitris Papadopoulos.
The Greek striker also redeemed himself by opening the scoring on 53 minutes. Just six minutes later the match was halted for safety reasons due to an electrical fire linked to the floodlighting system at the AZ Stadion.
When the game was stopped, AZ trailed 1-0 on the night but led 3-2 on aggregate. Under UEFA’s competition regulations, the match resumed on Friday morning from the point of abandonment. Thanassis Karagounis struck a second goal for the Greek visitors on 75 minutes, but despite Stefano Napoleoni hitting the woodwork late on, AZ held on to progress on away goals.
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