American Exports: Aron Johannsson comes up empty in disappointing Europa League loss for AZ Alkmaar

Aron Johannsson with AZ Alkmaar

Photo Credit: 
Courtesy of AZ Alkmaar

AMSTERDAM – Aron Jóhannsson and AZ Alkmaar left it all to do in the second leg of the Europa League quarterfinals after opening at home with a 1-0 defeat to Portuguese giants Benfica.

The underdog Cheese Farmers held their own on the night, but they were unable to provide the US national team regular with many genuine offensive chances. Jóhannsson passed well and tried to make the most of his relatively low involvement, but came up empty on a pair of big chances.

Just shy of the 20-minute mark, Jóhannsson expertly beat an offside trap to break in alone on a Roy Beerens through ball, only to be denied the icebreaker by a good Artur save. More disturbingly, the American whiffed on a golden stoppage time chance to equalize from a Beerens cutback.

The teams will reunite for the decider on April 10 in Portugal.