Jozy Altidore pleased as AZ Alkmaar beat Ajax to make KNVB Beker final

Jozy Altidore: Hailed a big night for AZ Alkmaar

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Jozy Altidore hailed a lionhearted performance from AZ Alkmaar after the Eredivisie strugglers put league form behind them to beat Ajax in the semi-finals of the KNVB Beker.

The United States international scored twice in AZ's 3-0 win at the Amsterdam Arena, with all the goals coming in the final 20 minutes.

AZ have been among the leading teams in the Dutch league during recent seasons, and won the championship in 2009, but they are presently flailing in 13th place, just three points above the relegation play-off zone.

"This win against Ajax was so important to our team. A big night for the club!" Altidore told AZ's website.

"We all knew that this was perhaps the most important game of the season. We fought like lions for each other."

Altidore, who has settled in Dutch football after spells with Spanish club Villarreal, English side Hull and Turkish outfit Bursaspor, appreciates AZ have not lived up to expectations in the current campaign.

"The season has not gone as we hoped it would," he said.

"The match against Ajax was a great opportunity to show people what we can do. We showed our qualities.

"I dedicate this win to the fans who have perhaps suffered more than we have. It was great that the away end was full and we thanked them afterwards."

Altidore said AZ had a "battle plan" that worked out almost perfectly, taking them through to face PSV Eindhoven in the May 9 final.

He added: "I love this club. AZ have given me so much and I want to repay them. I'm already looking forward to the final."