Brighton, West Ham Seal Spots In Europa League Knockout Round

Brighton, West Ham Seal Spots In Europa League Knockout Round

West Ham and Brighton both secured their knockout round spots with impressive victories in Europa League action.

Brighton's historic journey in European competition continues after a hard-fought 1-0 win against AEK Athens.

While West Ham advanced with a late Tomas Soucek goal securing a 1-0 victory over Backa Topola.

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Roberto De Zerbi's squad, participating in European competition for the first time in their history, witnessed Joao Pedro's heroics with a winning goal in Greece.

Brighton now leads Group B, sitting two points ahead of Marseille, who have a chance to reclaim the top spot if they defeat Ajax.

The Seagulls faced intense pressure from AEK Athens in the first half, with goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen making crucial saves.

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Steven Zuber and Mijat Gacinovic tested Brighton's defense, but Verbruggen's stellar performance laid the foundation for Joao Pedro's 55th-minute penalty goal.

Brighton's fate was further sealed when AEK Athens went down to 10 men in the 85th minute, providing a smoother path to victory.

Joao Pedro, now the top scorer in the Europa League with five goals, three of which came from penalties against AEK Athens, secured Brighton's place in the knockout stage.

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West Ham joined Brighton in the knockout stage as Tomas Soucek's 89th-minute volley against Backa Topola secured a 1-0 win.

Soucek's goal elevated West Ham to the top of Group A, setting the stage for a showdown against second-placed Freiburg in December.

The Czech midfielder's remarkable form, scoring in his last five matches for club and country, has been pivotal for West Ham.

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The Hammers have a chance to claim the first-place position in the group if they avoid defeat against Freiburg in the upcoming clash.

Sparta Prague kept their knockout stage hopes alive with a 1-0 victory over Real Betis, closing within two points of the Spanish club in Group C.

In Group D, Atalanta secured top spot after a 1-1 draw against Sporting Lisbon, who also advanced to the knockout round.

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Meanwhile, Rennes' convincing 3-0 win against Maccabi Haifa propelled them to the top of Group F and secured their place in the knockout stage.

As Brighton and West Ham celebrate their successful European campaigns, fans eagerly await the final group fixtures.

In December, promising more excitement and determining the ultimate group standings.

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