AZ Alkmaar headed into their clash against Willem II looking to keep pace with early pacesetters Ajax and PSV. There have been feel-good factors for the club after holding Manchester United to a 0-0 draw on Thursday, where the away side failed to make a shot on target.
AZ, as expected, dominated the opening exchanges with quick chances for Myron Boadu and Calvin Stengs leading that charge. In the 22nd minute, the pressure paid dividends as Boadu was brought down in the box by a clumsy challenge.
Penalty specialist TeunKoopemeiners stepped up and put the away side in front from the penalty spot. Not to be deterred by the early setback, Willem II began to move up in gears and had a series of chances.
Ten minutes later, it would be all square as MariousVrousai began the move which was finished by Mats Kohlert beyond the helpless AZ stopper Marco Biot.
After the equalizer, Willem II grew in confidence and began to take control of the game. They should have gone in front early in the second half but were denied by the woodwork. AZ were beginning to go deeper into their own half and this ramped up the pressure.
This eventually told as in the 86th minute Owen Wijndal conceded a penalty after handling the ball in the box. Pavlidis placed the ball on the spot but blazed the spot-kick over the bar. The game continued back and front and tempers flared.
Boadu saw a red card for a second bookable offence in added time but AZ held on to claim a point which keeps them third on goal difference above Vitesse. Meanwhile, Willem II move to 10th on the table. AZ manager Arnie Slot will be hoping for a better performance after the international break.