Never really tested in the first half as Benfica failed to hit the target. Had a lot more on his plate in the second period and didn't fill his side with confidence as a few rash decisions saw him trying to claim balls unnecessarily. Could do little about Salvio's strike though.
Never given too much trouble throughout the evening as the visitors focused their attacks through the middle. Did get caught out on a couple of occasions though and went in the book for a rash tackle in the second half.
Partnered Viergever and gave Benfica very little room to maneuver inside the AZ half. Kept Cardozo and Rodrigo quiet, although looked tired as the game wore on and let the substitute Lima spurn a few late chances.
Didn't take advantage of AZ's possession and get forward in support when the hosts were getting forward. Performed well enough defensively but sacrificed for a more attacking option in Gudmundsson.
Will be disappointed that his only mistake has handed the the advantage in the tie to Benfica. Looked solid at the back against more illustrious names in Rodrigo and Cardozo but his slip proved the difference.
Easily the best performer for AZ. A constant threat on the flank, if he wasn't testing Artur, he was creating the best opportunities for his side with well timed runs into space and pinpoint through balls.
Got forward from midfield to support the front three whenever possible. Enjoyed the opening period of the game but was frozen out as the home side was forced to develop a more defensive approach.
An influential presence in the AZ midfield throughout the game, he played a big role in the hosts' early dominance. His withdrawal at the end through injury will be a cause for concern for Advocaat.
Sat deep in a holding role and looked comfortable early on as AZ controlled proceedings. Was vital as Benfica grew in the game limiting the visitors' grasp on the midfield with some well timed challenges and interceptions.
Like the whole AZ team, was out the blocks fast, causing Benfica problems on the right flank. Enjoyed cutting inside and testing Artur - forcing the keeper into two fine stops from distance.
Fluffed his lines when two big chances fell his way. Denied by a great Artur save but should have done better in the dying stages when set up by Beerens again. Could come to regret those misses.
Forced into a a few fine saves in the first half - most notably from Johannsson. Tested a few times from range too and almost undid all his good work with a late clanger, but was bailed out by his teammates.
Comfortable in the air, but his positioning was sometimes questionable and some poor judgements on timing often aided AZ in breaking the offside trap.
Picked up a booking late on for time wasting and didn't have the most enjoyable of evenings as Beerens got at him down the flank, with the AZ man winning their duels more often than not.
Solid at full back but given plenty to think about all evening as AZ attacked the flank at regular intervals. A late, and needless, yellow card will see him miss the second leg however.
Strong at center back alongside Luisao, made sure Johannsson never got the time and space he needed to pose a threat. Almost came up trumps at the other end with a header too.
Scored the goal that could prove crucial in this tie. Took it well when he relied on his instincts to knock the ball into an empty net first time. A constant worker on the night for Benfica too in a performance that will have pleased coach Jesus.
Posed as the main link between Benfica's midfield and attack. Struggled early on but a tweak to the structure from Jesus freed up his role. Supported the front three where possible and also delivered a few dangerous set pieces.
Posed a few problems for the hosts early on with his deliveries from set pieces. Had to go off however with what looked a fairly serious injury, and was replaced by Almeida.
Part of the attacking trio that was supposed to pin AZ back into its own half but he never really got into this game. Showed some nice touches and quick thinking in the final third but his overall contribution could have been better.
On another night the striker would have scored at least a couple but he passed up those opportunities this evening, much to his own disgust. Withdrawn in the second period when it became evident it wasn't going to be his night.
The former Bolton man looked dangerous with the ball at feet and looked in his element when given the chance to run at the AZ defense with the ball at his feet. Passed up a couple of good chances though by snatching at them.