Alkmaar seeking rapid recovery

Published: , 9.58CET
Domestic news: Semi-final opponents AZ Alkmaar and Sporting Clube de Portugal had contrasting weekends.
AZ Alkmaar's season took a turn for the worse on Sunday as they lost further ground on Dutch leaders PSV Eindhoven with a home draw against NAC Breda.

Pegged back
Three days after sealing their UEFA Cup semi-final place by eliminating Villarreal CF, Alkmaar - without injured defender Joris Mathijsen - took a sixth-minute advantage through Tarik Sektioui, but were pegged back to 1-1 with 20 minutes remaining and had to settle for a point.

Slipping Alkmaar
Having dropped only 13 points in their opening 24 Eredivisie matches of the season, Co Adriaanse's Alkmaar have since lost a further ten in just four games and are in danger of missing out on the UEFA Champions League qualification that seemed a certainty a month ago. Adriaanse brought in Kew Jaliens for Mathijsen, who will be sidelined for six months after tearing tendons in his knee against Villarreal, while Barry van Galen, Kenneth Perez and Robin Nelisse all started on the substitutes' bench.

Sporting second
In contrast, next Thursday's opponents Sporting Clube de Portugal are firing on all cylinders, having gone second in the Portuguese SuperLiga on Monday night with a 3-1 win at bottom side Moreirense FC. Goals from Roudolphe Douala, Sá Pinto and Liedson did the damage for José Peseiro's men, although Doula was replaced at half-time with a thigh strain in his left leg. He is expected back in training in midweek.

Beto suspended
Midfielder Carlos Martins watched from the stands, also because of a thigh problem, but should recover full fitness in time for the first leg against Alkmaar in Portugal, for which Beto will be suspended.

Related information

Club profiles

Related match features

Kluivert excited by Amsterdam final prospect
  • Kluivert excited by Amsterdam final prospect
  • Behind the scenes at the UEFA Europa League
  • Europa League Truck Tour stops in Maribor
  • Final five complete round of 32 lineup
  • Stuttgart pair focus on the positives
  • Popa keen on further Steaua progress
  • Young Boys left with regrets after parting win
  • Bordeaux's Diabaté fearless ahead of last 32
  • Friedel's Spurs in it to win it
  • Levante take heart from Hannover draw
1 of 10