Conference League: Ajax joyful in extra time, Betis and Eintracht eliminated

Dinamo Zagreb and Union Saint-Gilloise surprise favorites Betis and Eintracht.

SoccerDino, Website Writer
Published: 03:48, 23 Feb 2024

The Croatians from Dinamo Zagreb and the Belgians from Union Saint-Gilloise surprised the favorites Betis and Eintracht Frankfurt, respectively, qualifying for the round of 16 of the UEFA Conference League.

Despite Dinamo Zagreb's surprising victory in Seville in the first leg, 1-0, it was expected that Betis would still have a say in the tie. However, the Croatian team, which was trailing today, managed to achieve their goal.

The Spaniards, with Portuguese Rui Silva in goal and William Carvalho in midfield, canceled out the advantage brought by the Croatians from the first leg when Congolese forward Cédric Bakambu opened the scoring in the 38th minute. But Dinamo leveled the score at 1-1 in the 59th minute, through Japanese midfielder Takuro Kaneko, and secured their spot in the round of 16.

Meanwhile, Union Saint-Gilloise, who had drawn 2-2 in Brussels against Eintracht Frankfurt, went to Germany and won 2-1, even leading 2-0 at one point thanks to goals from Swiss Cameron Puertas and German forward Dennis Eckert in the 47th and 80th minutes, respectively. The German team managed to pull one back near the end, in the 87th minute, through Frenchman Dine Ebimble, who had come on as a substitute in the 62nd minute for Portuguese Aurélio Buta.

It is also worth noting the difficulties faced by the Dutch team Ajax (with Carlos Forbs in the starting eleven) to eliminate the Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt, which only happened in extra time, after the 1-1 draw at the end of regular time, with the decisive goal coming in the 114th minute, scored by midfielder Kenneth Taylor.

In the remaining playoff games for access to the round of 16, it is noteworthy the emphatic victory of the Norwegian team Molde, in Poland, against Legia, with a score of 3-0, confirming their triumph from the first leg at home, which ended 3-2.

For Legia, two Portuguese players featured in the lineup: left-back Yuri Ribeiro and midfielder Josué, formerly of FC Porto, who captained the team, along with winger Gil Dias, formerly of Benfica, who came on the field in the 70th minute, replacing Japanese midfielder Ryoya Morishita.

Another team that fielded Portuguese players was Olympiacos from Greece, who went to Hungary and won against Ferencvaros 1-0, with the help of five Portuguese players: central defender David Carmo, midfielders André Horta and Chiquinho, and winger Daniel Podence, as well as João Carvalho, who was brought on in the 90th minute.

The Greek team confirmed their 1-0 victory from the first leg, as did the Austrian side Sturm Graz, who traveled to Bratislava and defeated Slovan from Slovakia by the same scoreline, after previously thrashing them 4-1 in Austria, securing their spot in the round of 16.

Updated: 03:48, 23 Feb 2024