Fenerbahçe advances to Europa League playoffs


Fenerbahçe eliminated Sturm Graz 3-2 on aggregate in the two sides' UEFA Europa League third qualifying round match in Istanbul on Thursday.

Istanbul heavyweights Fenerbahçe advanced to the playoffs in the UEFA Europa League late Thursday, after drawing 1-1 with Austria's Sturm Graz at the Şükrü Saraçoğlu Stadium.

Fenerbahçe found the first goal of the match in 32nd minute, when two new signings connected swiftly to deliver a header. Mathieu Valbuena assisted with the cross to Nabil Dirar who put Fenerbahçe 1-0 up.

The second half saw a much more resilient Sturm Graz side as the Austrian club equalized in the 66th minute. Philipp Huspek calmly finished with a low driven shot, beating goalkeeper Volkan Demirel.

Fenerbahçe held on for the remainder of the match, moving on to the play-off round.

In the first match, the Yellow Canaries had defeated the Austrians 2-1. With that result, Fenerbahçe won 3-2 on aggregate.

The play-off draw will be held on Friday at 1100GMT.

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