Napoli suffered a 1-0 loss to the Dutch side of AZ Alkmaar at the start of Group F in the Europa League on Thursday night.
Dani De Wit was the hero of the Cheeseheads throughout the second half, whose squad had been decimated due to COVID-19, and Partenopei dominated possession throughout the game, but they were unable to beat Marco Bizot in the Alkmaar goal.
The defense was at the top for the opening 10 minutes as both sides tried to carve out simple scoring chances, and then Napoli striker Victor Osimhen had a goal that was rightly disallowed for offside in the 14th minute.
Alkmaar winger Jesper Karlsson possibly had the best opportunity for his team to score in the first half when he fired Alex Meret in the Partenopei net.
Matteo Politano had a deflected shot saved by Bizot, while Dries Mertens and Osimhen ‘s efforts were quickly saved by the AZ Alkmaar goaltender.
As the first half progressed, Napoli started to attack while the Cheeseheads were able to sit back and protect themselves.
The Neapolitans came close to scoring in the 35th minute when Osimhen was focused on Mertens, who curled his shot wide. Partenopei left-back Elseid Hysaj tried his luck shortly after, but to no avail.
Napoli had another opportunity to score just before the Mertens freekick half-time, but Osimhen couldn’t get a good link to the ball.
The early minutes of the second half continued in the second half as the first, with the odds seldom formed. Kalidou Koulibaly had a chance to have a header, but the ball went over the bar.
After 57 minutes, AZ Alkmaar scored against the run of the game with a well-worked team pass. Jonas Svensson, along with Yukinari Sugawara and the Norwegian right-back, crossed for De Wit, who put the ball to the right of Meret in the Napoli net.
Mario Rui came to Hysaj and crossed from Osimhen, who went straight to Bizot. Andrea Petagna substituted Osimhen, and his diving header went sufficient minutes after coming on.