4 Portuguese Teams Qualify: Europa League Roundup

A fantastic night tonight for Portuguese football and in particular the Primeira Liga sides. FC Porto’s progression into the Round of 32 means that they join SL Benfica (who have dropped down from the UEFA Champions League), SC Braga and Sporting CP in the knockout stages of the competition.

SC Braga’s 2-4 victory away in Bratislava tonight means that they have won their group, finishing with a very healthy 14 points from 6 games and manouevering through an awfully difficult group, unbeaten. When the group of SC Braga, Besiktas, Wolves and Slovan Bratislava was first drawn, there were groans of discontent at the difficulty of the group, however Braga have prevailed earning some excellent results and playing good football in the process. A thoroughly excellent job well done by Sá Pinto and the Braga players.

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FC Porto also found themselves involved in an epic and were the only Portuguese side whose qualification was not confirmed, that was until Tiquinho Soares scored the 3rd and decisive goal to earn all 3 points for the Dragons. This 3-2 win over Feyenoord not only guaranteed qualification but also meant Porto won their group. It looked as though Rangers would be going through as group winners, that was until Young Boys did Conceição’s men a favour by finding an equaliser, ultimately meaning the Scottish side gained just a point and finished 2nd in the group. Lisbon side Sporting CP have also qualified, albeit in 2nd place. a win or draw tonight would have guaranteed top spot but an early red card for goalkeeper Renan Ribeiro meant that they spent the majority of the game with a man less. They were soundly beaten 3-0 by group winners LASK but qualification is the main thing, and Silas’ men are in the hat for the next round.

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Vitória SC’s European journey unfortunately comes to an end, however it came to an end in the greatest possible fashion. The Guimarães outfit were involved in an epic 3-2 win away in Frankfurt, their first ever away win in the Europa League/UEFA Cup. Goals from Rochina, Elmusrati and a late winner from Marcus Edwards meant Vitória finished on 5 points and in 4th place. Whilst the numbers may not look great, they do not represent the way Vitória have played throughout the competition, their fearless and admirable approach has won over a lot of people, both games against Arsenal they were desperately unlucky and in another campaign, perhaps they could have qualified but for now, their journey is over.

The Europa League draw takes place this Monday and begins at 12pm!

Below are all qualified teams:

Seeded

Ajax (dropping from Champions League)

Benfica (dropping from Champions League)

Inter Milan (dropping from Champions League)

RB Salzburg (dropping from Champions League)

Sevilla (Group A winners)

Malmo (Group B winners)

FC Basel (Group C winners)

LASK (Group D winners)

Celtic (Group E winners)

Arsenal (Group F winners)

Porto (Group G winners)

Espanyol (Group H winners)

Gent (Group I winners)

Istanbul Basaksehir (Group J winners)

Braga (Group K winners)

Manchester United (Group L winners)

Unseeded

Club Brugge (dropping from Champions League)

Bayer Leverkusen (dropping from Champions League)

Olympiacos (dropping from Champions League)

Shakhtar Donetsk (dropping from Champions League)

APOEL (Group A runners-up)​

FC Copenhagen (Group B runners-up)​

Getafe (Group C runners-up)​

Sporting (Group D runners-up)​

CFR Cluj (Group E runners-up)​

Eintract Frankfurt (Group F runners-up)​

Rangers (Group G runners-up)

Ludogorets (Group H runners-up)

Wolfsburg (Group I runners-up)

Roma (Group J runners-up)

Wolves (Group K runners-up)

AZ Alkmaar (Group L runners-up)​

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