It came as a surprise to Teun Koopmeiners that AZ was not really struggling with the defense of HNK Rijeka.

The Alkmaarders defeated the Croats on Thursday with 4-1 and booked their second victory in the group stage of the Europa League.

"Everything fell into place", concluded Koopmeiners after the match at

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"We expected it to be difficult."

The captain himself gave AZ the lead after six minutes from a penalty kick.

Albert Gudmundsson was then twice accurate for the home team and Jesper Karlsson also found the net in between.

"We expected a very defensive opponent that would be difficult to play against," he said.

"But from the start we had good attacks and we were able to distance ourselves. Of course it helped that we got a penalty kick so early."

AZ celebrates Albert Gudmundsson's 2-0.

(Photo: ANP)

'Assist Midtsjø I looked at with admiration'

In addition to the penalty used, Koopmeiners was also good for the assist to Gudmundsson's 4-0.

He enjoyed both moments, but was especially impressed by Fredrik Midtsjø's assist in Gudmundsson's 2-0.

"That assist is great, but the penalty is the opening goal, then you get off to a good start," said the midfielder.

"By the way, I thought Midtsjø's assist was more beautiful than mine. I was really looking at it with admiration."

Thanks to the victory over Rijeka, AZ is only in the lead in group F with six points from two matches. Napoli and Real Sociedad follow with three points and Rijeka is the last one with zero points.

View the results, the standings and the program in the Europa League