Saturday 01 April 2023

Feyenoord and AZ seal European quarter final places

AZ celebrate their win. Photo: Ed van de Pol ANP

Feyenoord of Rotterdam and AZ Alkmaar have both progressed to the quarter finals of their respective European competitions after convincing wins on Thursday evening.

In the Europa League Feyenoord put paid to the hopes of Shakhtar Donetsk with a 7-1 home win, and head for Sunday’s key league game against Ajax with high hopes.

‘It was unreal how we put the match to bed so quickly,’ Feyenoord coach Arne Slot said after the game. ‘Normally we need more chances to score, so compliments to my players for being so efficient this evening.’

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A 2-1 home win against Lazio of Italy also put AZ Alkmaar into the quarter finals of this year’s Conference League competition. AZ also won the first leg away.

The draws for the rest of both competitions take place on Friday.

However Dutch hopes of sealing a second automatic Champions League place in the 2024/25 season were put temporarily on hold after Sporting CP from Portugal put out Arsenal.

Had Arsenal won their Europa League game, the Netherlands would have been assured sixth place in the Uefa coefficient list and therefore been guaranteed two Champions League tickets.

That now depends on how Feyenoord and AZ, and the two remaining Portuguese clubs Sporting and Benfica, perform in the rest of the competition.

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