Alkmaar - FC Augsburg secured a maiden victory in European competition and remained in contention to qualify from UEFA Europa League Group L by overcoming AZ Alkmaar 1-0 on Thursday.
Goals: 0-1 Trochowski (43')
Determined to secure a first-ever European win at the third time of asking, Markus Weinzierl’s side began well, threatening through Piotr Trochowski and Raul Bobadilla. Augsburg custodian Marwin Hitz easily repelled two tame strikes midway through the half, the sum total of AZ’s efforts before the break. The visitors, meanwhile, continued to press, although struggled to create further chances of note until Trochowski bent a superb free-kick into the top corner two minutes before the break to give the Bundesliga side the lead.
Alkmaar emerged fired up at the start of the second half, but time and again fell short in the face of an impregnable Augsburg defence. Content to soak up pressure and attack on the break, the Fuggerstädter retained a threat through Bobadilla up front, ably supported by industrious duo Tobias Werner and Caiuby. The Paraguayan put the best chance of the second period over in the 65th minute but it mattered little as Augsburg held on untroubled to secure all three points.
Man of the match
Although withdrawn from the fray after 70 minutes, Trochowski’s contribution proved decisive in securing a historic victory. The former Germany international’s free-kick showed all of his class, while his tidiness in possession and diligence in midfield laid the groundwork for a vital three points.
While memorable in its own right, Augsburg’s first win in Europe could well be the impetus Weinzierl’s side need in Group L. Level on three points with Alkmaar and only three behind leaders Athletic Club and FK Partizan, the Bavarians will be in contention to qualify if they overcome the Dutch side at the WWK ARENA in a fortnight.
- Trochowski’s last goal in European competition came 2065 days ago, but also in the Netherlands (Eindhoven).
- It was also his first goal for new club Augsburg.
- The hosts enjoyed seven attempts on target to Augsburg’s two.
Alkmaar: Coutinho – Johansson (Hupperts, 77’), Gouweleeuw, van der Linden, Haps - Luckassen, Rienstra (Haye, 61’) - van Overeem, Henriksen, Dabney Souza (Tankovic, 70’) - Janssen
Augsburg: Hitz - Verhaegh, Callsen-Bracker, Klavan, Max – Baier (Kohr, 58’), Koo, Trochowski (Feulner, 70’)- Bobadilla (Esswein, 79’), Werner, Caiuby