European Soccer

Europea League Rewind: AZ top Valencia, Schalke fall and more

Altidore AZ Valencia (Reuters)


Jozy Altidore and AZ Alkmaar's sucessful run in the Europa League continued on Thursday, as they defeated Spanish side Valencia in the first leg of their quarterfinals clash.

AZ played to a 2-1 home win over Valencia on goals from Brett Holman and Maarten Martens. Holman scored in first-half stoppage time, but it was Martens who scored the winner in the 79th minute after Mehmet Topal had pulled Valencia level early into the second half.

Altidore started and put forth a solid shift in his 76 minutes on the field before making way for Charlison Benschop.

The return leg will take place in Spain on April 5.

Here are the rest of the results from Thursday's quarterfinals first legs:


Jermaine Jones started and went 90 minutes for Schalke 04, but he could not help prevent Atletico Bilbao from winning after they scored three unanswered goals in the latter parts of the second half in a 4-2 victory in Germany.

Raul put Schalke ahead twice in the match, but both goals were negated by finishes from Fernando Llorente. The second of Llorente's goals came in the 73rd minute, and that sparked Atletico as the visitors finished the first leg with a two-goal cushion after strikes from Oscar de Marcos and Iker Muniain in the 81st and 90th minutes, respectively.


Just as Hannover 96 looked ready to leave Spain with a big draw, Atletico Madrid claimed a 2-1 win through an 89th-minute goal from Eduardo Salvio. The dramatic, late goal gave Atletico the lead again after Mame Biram Diouf had earlier scored to cancel out Radamel Falcao's opener. U.S. international Steve Cherundolo went the distance in the match for Hannover.


Sporting CP got one step closer to reaching the semifinals after beating FC Metalist Kharkiv, 2-1, at home. Playing without the injured Oguchi Onyewu, Sporting CP jumped out to a 2-0 lead through second-half goals by Marat Izmailov and Emiliano Insua. Ribeiro Cleiton Xavier pulled one back for the visitors off a penalty kick in stoppage time.


What do you think of Altidore's performance in AZ"s win? Expecting Jones and Schalke to bounce back? Think Hannover can turn it around versus Atletico?

Share your thoughts below.

  • fischy

    What do you mean by “back”? Two serious knee injuries. He was slow enough before he got hurt.


  • Dimidri

    So is there a definitive list of Americans who are in line/could play in the CL next year-I think this is relatively close
    Brad Friedel, Spurs(currently 4th)
    Jermaine Jones, Schalke(Currently 3rd)
    Jozy Altidore, AZ(Currently 1st)
    Sacha Kljeistan, Anderlecht(Currently 1st going into Belgian playoffs)
    Maurice Edu, Carlos Bocanegra, Alejandro Bedoya, Rangers(currently 2nd but if they don’t get out of administration they’re ineligible I believe, plus they all probably will leave)
    Bryan Gyzerich-Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona, Israel(currently 1st)
    Michael Parkhurst, FC Nordsjælland, Denmark(Currently 2nd)

    Gooch seems set for Europa and is too far back to get one of the 3 Portuguese CL slots. Any others?


  • g?

    Hope 96 turn it around in Hannover, Stevie winning a major trophy would be well-deserved.
    Otherwise I guess AZ SCP or S04 can win one for the Yanks.


  • Tom

    Schalke in trouble at Bilbao. A madhouse stadium. Great environment to see the War Pig.


  • KutamaObama

    You forgot Josh Gatt from Molde in Norway, he will be playing Champions League next session


  • Lorenzo

    He was pretty darn good in the Confederations Cup run though. Really everyone on that team was in good form


  • Martin Jol

    Hi Clint,

    I see you’ve been posting on footy-blogs again during training time. I called up Arse-sene today and told him my scouts are keen on a certain Johnny Cougar. He didn’t bite, so I think I’ll have to sell you to Wolves. Pity really, but they could use the help.



  • 2tone

    Probably the most ill informed comment on here. He had a meniscus tear. That is not a serius knee injury. He should be back in a few weeks. Secondly, Onyewu has been very good for Sporting CP this year while netting 5 goals as their startign CB. HE will probably be slotted right back into teh line-up in a few weeks.


  • Tyler

    It amazes me how people can come to this site, which is arguably the most detailed soccer blog in the country and continually be so uninformed in their comments/opinions. Smmfh. Fischy isn’t normally one of them either.


  • Taylor

    well said. its truly amazing to see the amount of people that sign on here and spew out crap that is either entirely illegitimate, untrue or way outdated. do people just sign on once a year, comment, and then disappear? and even then, it seems like they don’t actually read up on any of their facts in years


  • FRANCE24

    I have my money on Bilbao in the final

    If AZ can beat Valencia in the return leg, i can see them also making the final


  • kimo

    Not necessarily true. It depends on how much of his meniscus was torn. Yes, if it’s a minimal amount, 6 weeks from the injury data in clearly doable. However, in my case, it took me 3-4 months.


  • BB

    Wrong. I’ve had repairs to the medial meniscus in both of my knees. One was a fairly simple trim of the cartilage, but I was still out 6+ weeks. The other, a large bucket-handle tear, took 6-9 months to recover from.


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