Three Dutch teams in this season’s Europa League

europa league logoBoth AZ of Alkmaar and Amsterdam’s Ajax qualified for the group rounds of the Europa League on Thursday evening.

Ajax keeper Jasper Cillessen was the hero for Amsterdam side after a 58th-minute penalty save. Riechedly Bazoer was sent off 60 seconds later, but Frank de Boer’s men held on to a 0-0 draw to go through 1-0 on aggregate. The 2-0 victory takes AZ through 4-3 on aggregate.

AZ were heading out until a late rally accounted for Romania’s Astra Giurgiu, who were victors over West Ham in the previous round. Centre-back Jop van der Linden gave them the advantage on away goals when he broke the deadlock ten minutes from time, with Robert Mühren adding a second for good measure.

Groningen qualified automatically for the competition as KNVB Cup winners.

The draw for the group round will take place on Friday.

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