Trabzonspor bags Europa League playoffs ticket
Turkish football club Trabzonspor qualified for the UEFA Europa League playoffs, eliminating Czech opponents Sparta Prague late Thursday.
Trabzonspor beat Sparta Prague 2-1 in the second leg in the tournament's third qualifying round, as the Turkish team won 4-3 on aggregate.
Last week's first leg at Stadion Letna in Prague ended 2-2 as Trabzonspor grasped the away goal advantage.
Second leg's home team Trabzonspor took the lead, with an early opener scored by Norwegian forward Alexander Sorloth.
But Sparta Prague equalized in the 78th minute at Medical Park Stadium, when Czech forward Adam Hlozek put the ball into Trabzonspor net. This goal kept hopes alive for the visitors.
Trabzonspor made it 2-1 near the end of the game, as their Czech defender Filip Novak scored against Sparta Prague. Novak's very late goal clinched the victory for Trabzonspor.
Following this narrow win, Trabzonspor have qualified for the Europa League playoffs. Meanwhile Sparta Prague have been eliminated from the Europa League.
Trabzonspor will face Greek club AEK in the playoffs.
Another Turkish team in the Europa League, Yeni Malatyaspor has been eliminated by Serbian club Partizan despite the 1-0 win in the second leg.
Malatyaspor lost the first leg 3-1 in Belgrade last week.
Second leg's hosts Malatyaspor beat Partizan 1-0 with the goal scored by Adis Jahovic. However, the North Macedonian forward's early goal wasn't enough to carry Malatyaspor to the next stage in the Europa League.
Despite the 1-0 loss in Turkey, Partizan qualified for the playoffs.