Europa League: Atalanta advance to last 16, Freiburg and West Ham qualify for play-offs | Sporting


Italian club Atalanta drew 1-1 against Sporting CP in the penultimate round of Group D and advanced to the 16th round of the Europa League.

Atalanta’s goal was scored by Gianluca Scamacca (23) and Atletico’s goal was scored by Englishman Marcus Edwards (56).

Atalanta leads the group with 11 points, finishing three points behind runner-up Sporting Lisbon, thus qualifying directly and entering a play-off with one of the third-placed teams. The UEFA Champions League match took advantage of the Austrian third-placed team Graz losing to the visiting Polish Rakov Czestochowa.

In the first group, Freiburg of Germany and West Ham United of England tied for first place in the group and advanced to the knockout rounds.

Freiburg defeated host Greek team Olympiakos 5-0, while West Ham United struggled to defeat host Serbian team Bachka Topola, Czech Tomas Soucek scored in the 89th minute.

West Ham United ranked first in the group with 12 points on goal difference, ahead of Freiburg who had the same points as them, so they tied for promotion.

They are eight points adrift of nearest rivals Olympiacos heading into the final round of the group, with Bachka Topola sitting bottom of the table with one point.

In the final round of the group, West Ham United’s match against Freiburg in London, the British capital, became the decisive match to determine the group leader. The group leader will directly advance to the top 16, while the runner-up will be ranked first in the group. In this round, they faced one of the third-placed teams in the Champions League group stage and qualified for the top 16 of the European League.

Brighton in Europe Annex

England’s Brighton defeated host AEK Athens thanks to Brazilian Joao Pedro’s 55th-minute goal to at least secure a place in the playoffs.

Brighton temporarily leads the second group with 10 points, two points ahead of France’s Marseille, which hosts Ajax of the Netherlands.

Sparta Prague in the Czech Republic reignited hopes of competing for at least second place in Group C by beating Real Betis of Spain thanks to a goal from Slovakian Lukas Haraslin in the 54th minute.

Sparta Prague have consolidated their place in third place, seven points behind Scotland’s Rangers, with a win over Cyprus’ Aris Limassol giving them the chance to seize the lead ahead of Real Betis’ The lead was frozen at 9 points.

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