American Aron Johannsson converted a penalty kick in the 29th minute for his 25th goal of the season, giving AZ Alkmaar a 1-0 won over visiting Anzhi Makhachkala of Russia on Thursday night in the first leg of their third-round Europa League matchup.
After a hand ball call on Ali Gadzhibekov in the penalty area, Johannson’s kick went off both hands of goalkeeper Mikhail Kerzhakov, and the ball bounced over the line. The 23-year-old Johannsson, bidding for a spot on the U.S. World Cup roster, has two Europa League goals this season, 16 in the Dutch Eredivisie and seven in the Dutch Cup.
Benfica and Valencia won on the road, and Real Betis beat Sevilla 2-0 in a Spanish derby played for the first time on the European stage.
Brazilian defender Luisao scored two second-half goals to help Benfica beat Tottenham 3-1 and cap a good night for Portugal’s top clubs in the last 16. Porto won 1-0 at home over Napoli.
Valencia overcame the early ejection of Seydou Keita to win 3-0 at Bulgaria’s Ludogorets Razgrad 3-0, and Lyon came from behind to defeated Viktoria Plzen 4-1.
Mario Gomez scored a late goal for Fiorentina in a 1-1 tie at Juventus in an all-Italian match.
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