Both Rangers and Galatasaray have shown that there can be plenty of upsets in this competition as they were knocked out by teams they were widely expected to beat. This time around the upsets were in full flow with PSV Eindhoven losing 2-0 on aggregate to Osijek, Bordeaux out of the competition on away goals after drawing 2-2 with Videooton and Freiburg throwing away their first leg lead and being beaten by Domzale 2-1 on aggregate. You could have had some crazy odds on these results over at bettingsitesnow.co.uk so make sure you check them out for the next round!
However, there was no surprises for AC Milan as goals from Giacomo Bonaventura and Patrick Cutrone giving them a 2-0 win over Romanian outfit CS Universitatea Craiova on the night, taking the aggregate score to 3-0. They will be facing Shkendija in the next round after they came back from a 2-1 defeat in the first leg against Trakai to win 4-2 on aggregate.
There was one match that went to penalties in this round, which was between Albanian side Skenderbeu Korce and Mlada Boleslav of the Czech Republic. Both legs of the tie had finished 2-1 to the home team, but Boleslav would have gone through straight away if it wasn’t for an 83rd-minute goal from Sebino Plaku. However, they lost out in the end via a penalty shootout, with Jakub Rada and Golgol Mebrahtu both missing, while all four of Skenderbeu’s required penalty takers scored. Skenderbeu’s next opponents will be Dinamo Zagreb who beat Odds 2-1 on aggregate.
Another that looked as though it was going to go to penalties is the tie between Braga and AIK Stockholm. They had drawn 1-1 in the first leg and did the same in normal time in the second. There hadn’t been much action during extra time, but in the very last moments, Raul Silva scored to send Braga through to the next round. It was a night to forget for AIK goalkeeper Oscar Linner, as he could have done a lot better with both of Braga’s goals. Braga’s next opponents will be Icelandic side FH Hafnarfjordur who have dropped down from the Champions League after losing 2-0 to Maribor.
Everton secured a place in the Play Off Round with another 1-0 win over Ruzomberok. Leighton Baines had scored in the first leg, but it was Dominic Calvert-Lewis who had the honours this time around. They go on to face Hajduk Split in the next round after they beat Brondby 2-0 on aggregate.
Aberdeen, the only other home nation side in this round didn’t fare so well. They had won their home leg against Apollon Limassol 2-1 but lost this leg 2-0. They still had hope in the latter stages of the game as they were only 1-0 down but still needed a goal to avoid defeat due to the away goals ruling. However, Limassol brought Emilio Zelaya on in the 84th minute and he scored just two minutes later to wipe out any Aberdeen hopes of progression. Apollon will face Midtjylland after beating Arka Gdynia on away goals in a 4-4 aggregate draw thanks to a 93rd-minute goal from Alexander Sorloth.
Richard Boakye has reclaimed his place at the top of the goal scoring charts, taking his tally to seven goals and two assists as he scored the only goal in Red Star Belgrade’s 1-0 win over Sparta Prague which took their aggregate score to 3-0. His closest competitor so far, Maksim Maksimov, who has seven goals but no assists will no longer be in the competition as his side, Trakai were knocked out. The side Boakye will be looking to score against in the next round is Krasnodar, who beat Lyngby 5-2 on aggregate.
There aren’t any fixtures next week, but the ones to look out for on August 17th are: Ajax vs Rosenborg, Utrecht vs Zenit St. Petersburg, Everton vs Hajduk Split, Red Star Belgrade vs Krasnodar and Panathinaikos vs Athletic Bilbao.