Friday’s soccer news starts with the Europa League play-off round where George Bello was on the bench for LASK’s 1-1 draw at Zrinjski, advancing 3-2 on aggregate. LASK fell behind on the night to a 38th minute penalty, with Brando Jovicic equalizing in the 52nd. Bello’s LASK and Erik Palmer-Brown’s Panathinaikos are the two teams with USMNT players in the group stage of the 2023-24 Europa League.
In Europa Conference League qualifying, Paxten Aaronson subbed out in the 83rd minute and Timmy Chandler was on the bench for Eintracht’s 2-0 home win over Levski Sofia, advancing 3-1 on aggregate. Jessic Ngankam scored for Eintracht and Ellyes Skhiri doubled the lead in the 86th minute.
“We’re relieved because we know what the place in the group stage means for the club and the fans,” Eintracht coach Dino Toppmoller said. “When you experience this atmosphere, it just gives you goosebumps. We’re glad we could take this step together.”
Djordje Mihailovic’s AZ drew 3-3 at SK Brann, drawing 4-4 on aggregate with AZ advancing 6-5 on penalties. Mihailovic subbed on in the 112th minute. Mayckel Lahdo put AZ up on the night in the 12th and Sven Mijnans doubled the lead in the 29th. Brann pulled a goal back in first-half stoppage time, but Ruben Van Bommel made it 3-1 on the night in the 50th. Brann pulled a goal back in the 66th and equalized in the 82nd, with Felix Myhre seeing red in the 120th minute. Brann failed to convert in the 6th round of penalties with AZ going six for six from the spot. Mihailovic converted in the 5th round.
Mark McKenzie’s KRC Genk lost 1-0 at Adana Demirspor on the night, drawing 2-2 on aggregate and advancing 5-4 on penalties. Adana Demirspor scored nine minutes into first-half stoppage time, with the score holding through extra time. Adana Demirspor failed to convert in the 3rd round of penalties while Genk went five for five. Owen Otasowie wasn’t in the squad for Club Brugge’s 2-2 home draw with Osasuna, advancing 4-3 on aggregate. Osasuna took a 2-0 lead on the night from goals in the 27th and 53rd. Thiago pulled a goal back for Club Brugge in the 73rd and Andreas Olsen scored in the 76th minute.
UEFA conducted the Champions League group stage draw, with Ricardo Pepi and Malik Tillman’s PSV joining Sevilla, Arsenal, and Lens in group B. Brenden Aaronson’s Union Berlin is in group C with Napoli, Real Madrid, and Braga. For those keeping score at home, Jordan Pefok is now with Borussia Monchengladbach on loan. Cameron Carter-Vickers’s Celtic is in group E with Feyenoord, Atletico Madrid, and Lazio. Gio Reyna’s Borussia Dortmund is in group F along with Yunus Musah and Christian Pulisic’s AC Milan, PSG, and Newcastle United. Zack Steffen’s Manchester City is in group G, and Sam Vines’s Royal Antwerp is in group H with Barcelona, Porto, and Shakhtar Donetsk.
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