AZ holds off Zwolle

Alkmaar, Netherlands ( - AZ Alkmaar scored twice in the opening 15 minutes and held on for a 2-1 home victory against Zwolle on Sunday.

The hosts secured a place in the quarterfinals of the Europa League on Thursday and carried that momentum into Sunday's contest as Steven Berghuis put AZ in front in the sixth minute with a cross that made its way through traffic and settled inside the far post.

Nemanja Gudelj made it 2-0 in the 14th when he beat Zwolle goalkeeper Diederik Boer after the visitors failed to properly clear the ball.

Zwolle fought back and cut the deficit in half before the break as Mustafa Saymak headed home Jesper Drost's cross to make it 2-1.

AZ had a good chance to add to its lead in the second half when Aron Johannsson drew a foul on Joost Broerse inside the penalty area. However, the striker failed to convert from the spot when his effort was comfortably saved by Boer.

The miss didn't cost AZ in the end as the hosts saw out the rest of the match to remain in seventh place.