Huge disappointment in Brussels on Thursday evening as AZ Alkmaar eliminated Anderlecht from the Europa League. The Dutchmen scored on a counter attack and didn't give away the lead.
Anderlecht took a furious start. After just five minutes of play, the home side had already missed three golden opportunities. Mbokani appeared twice in front of goalkeeper Esteban, who saved one of the attempts. The other one was stopped just in time by Viergever who had returned just in time. Panic reigned in the visiting defence. Suarez mounted the pressure with a fantastic volley that came off the post back into play.
After 10 minutes, the Brussels' team remained frustrated for not scoring. The Dutch opponents slowly came into the game and could be happy with the 0-0 scoreline. Anderlecht kept control though and AZ couldn't threaten Proto. But the Mauves were unable to keep on creating excellent chances.
The second half brought more of the same. AZ stayed well organised and lured on the counter attack. Anderlecht kept looking for the opening and could't find it. The few chances that were created, were stopped by Esteban.
Then disaster struck: Martens, ex-Anderlecht, was left alone at the second post and he placed the ball next to Proto into the far corner. The Mauves lost their confidence and were unable to turn the tide. Mbokani hit the crossbar at the end of the game, but that was it...
The ambitions were high, but luck was against the Belgians this time. Anderlecht are eliminated by the modest AZ.