AZ won its first game in preparation for the new season on Saturday. Coach Arne Slot's team was 2-1 too strong for Lille OSC at home.
Jérémy Pied brought Lille, with Sven Botman into action for the first time, after an hour of play in the lead. The defender pushed the ball off the edge of the box in the far corner.
More than fifteen minutes before the end, AZ found the goal for the first time in the preparation and that happened in a wonderful way. Yukinari Sugawara shot from at least 30 yards and shot the ball into the top left corner. Thomas Ouwejan gave the Alkmaarders the win six minutes before the end.
Myron Boadu made his return to AZ after missing the first three exhibition matches due to an injury. Slot again could not appeal to Calvin Stengs and Ron Vlaar. They never once participated in the preparation. Stengs is still out for the time being and Vlaar is as good as fit.
In the previous three exhibition games, AZ always went down with minimal figures. The team did not score against KRC Genk (0-1), FC Utrecht (1-0) and PEC Zwolle (0-1).
AZ will play the first official game of the season in the second heat of the Champions League on August 25 or 26. The opponent will be announced on Monday at the draw in Nyon. AZ has to survive three preliminary rounds for the group stage.
In the run-up to the second qualifying round of the Champions League, AZ comes into action one more time. AS Monaco will be the opponent in the AFAS Stadium on 15 August.
See also: All exhibition games of Eredivisie clubs in preparation for the new season