Europa Conference League

Europa Conference League (132)

Hibernian set up a glamour tie with Aston Villa after goals from Elie Youan and Martin Boyle earned a 2-2 draw against Luzern in Switzerland.

Hibs progressed 5-3 on aggregate to secure a Europa Conference League play-off against a Villa side captained by former Easter Road hero John McGinn, who was part of their 2016 Scottish Cup-winning team.

Youan fired Hibs into an early lead and set up Boyle to level the tie on the night in the 73rd minute, soon after Luzern had got within one goal on the aggregate score.

Villa are scheduled to visit Edinburgh for the first leg next Thursday.

Hibs had extended their first-leg lead in stoppage-time at Easter Road last week and they started where they finished as they attacked their hosts.

Boyle was impeded in the penalty box in the act of shooting but was penalised for catching his opponent and Josh Campbell shot straight at the home goalkeeper.

Hibs went three up on aggregate when Youan struck in the 10th minute. The wide player picked up a loose ball on the halfway line following a Luzern throw-in, ran to the edge of the box and hit a shot which hit a defender and looped over the goalkeeper.

Luzern hit back six minutes later after a switch of play put Hibs on the back foot. David Marshall made an excellent stop but the ball was cut back across goal for Jakub Kadak to finish from six yards.

Hibs continued to pose a threat and Dylan Vente headed over unchallenged from six yards.

Boyle soon raced clear after a brilliant piece of skill and went down just outside the box after Nicky Beloko grabbed his arm, but the referee played on.

Pius Dorn twice threatened for Luzern before the break, being denied by Marshall’s stop and then Vente’s headed clearance.

Hibs defended deep after the interval, with Dylan Levitt forced off injured in the 52nd minute after rolling his ankle while charging down a shot.

The home pressure paid off midway through the half when Kemal Ademi got goal-side of Paul Hanlon at a corner to convert a free header from five yards.

But Hibs did not allow their hosts to build any more momentum and killed off the home fans’ hopes in Lucerne when they netted on the counter-attack after the ball was launched forward.

Youan outmuscled defender Marco Burch, who responded by trying to grab the Hibs winger’s shirt. Burch bizarrely stopped looking for a free-kick of his own after getting Yoaun’s arm in his throat but the referee played on and Youan got to the byline.

Boyle had peeled off his marker and swept a left-footed shot under the goalkeeper after meeting Youan’s cutback from six yards out to send the Hibs fans wild.

Lee Johnson’s men survived a couple of scares in stoppage-time to set up an all-British tie.

Lee Johnson knows Hibernian have only done half a job after they earned a commanding two-goal advantage in their Europa Conference League tie against Luzern.

Joe Newell’s opener just 18 seconds into the second half was cancelled out by Ismajl Beka’s header.

But debutant Dylan Vente and Jordan Obita scored to put Hibs in a strong position heading into next Thursday’s second leg in Switzerland.

And Johnson, whose side opened their Premiership campaign with a 3-2 home defeat to St Mirren on Sunday, has told his players they have now set a standard they must reach in every game.

He said: “It’s half-time. I said in Andorra when we lost 2-1 (against Inter d’Escaldes in the previous round) that it was half-time and I’ll say that now when we’ve got a plus-two lead.

“I really like Luzern. They’re a real quality side – brilliant in terms of that education for the club, for myself, for the players.

“And I was really proud today, for the whole club. We took a bit of stick, and rightly so, for our first-half performance the other day (against St Mirren).

“But that’s what Hibs is about. The crowd were up – 13,000 felt like 25,000 – the boys were making big tackles, they had pressure on everywhere.

“But we’ve got to do that in every game. That’s a marker now for this group.

“I honestly think it’s nowhere near done, genuinely. I think they’re a really good side. They’ve got threats and quality everywhere.

“We’re extremely proud tonight but nothing is done in the tie.”

Johnson also hailed debutant Vente, whose work permit issues following his move from Roda JC in the Netherlands were resolved on the eve of the tie.

He added: “I’m delighted for Dylan. I was getting a bit of stick before the game about the team selection, and I was quite surprised. I thought it was quite a bold one.

“Dylan was excellent. Obviously he had a goal and an assist. But, for me, I thought it was more about his work-rate and how hard he worked.

“I thought him and Alfie (Adam Le Fondre) worked their socks off and they’re dangerous.”

Meanwhile, Luzern manager Mario Frick admits his side have a mountain to climb.

He said: “The second half started with a gift from our side when they scored the first goal and, of course, with the support of the fans it got difficult.

“But we were still in the game and we had our chances and the equaliser came pretty quickly.

“Then, it was 2-1 and again a gift from our side and it became a nightmare. It’s a difficult situation for the second leg now.

“Can we progress in the second leg? Not if we play like today. We have to get back to our real game to have a chance.

“It’s not impossible but it’s a very difficult situation.”

Hearts head coach Frankie McAvoy is happy his side will take to the pitch at Tynecastle next week with their European hopes still alive following a 2-1 defeat by Rosenborg in Norway.

It was a tough first half for Hearts in the first leg of their Europa Conference League third round qualifier at the Lerkendal Stadion as Emil Frederiksen put the home side ahead in the 14th minute before Jayden Nelson made it 2-0 in added time.

The Jambos asserted themselves after the break and pulled a goal back in the 78th minute through skipper Lawrence Shankland on his 28th birthday to give the Edinburgh side better prospects of recovering the tie in the second leg next Thursday in Gorgie.

McAvoy told Hearts TV: “We are obviously disappointed to lose the game 2-1 but the tie is alive which is the least that we hoped that we could do.

“We made a few mistakes in the first half but that is about us encouraging players to be brave on the ball, we’ve done that so we accept that responsibility as a coaching team.

“We had a lot of possession in the first half but we’re probably a wee bit too safe, if I’m honest.

“We changed that a wee bit in a second half and you could see that we get more impetus, more forward, penetrating passes and I thought that the least we deserved was the goal which we are delighted with and obviously not losing again because their strength is in transition, they are very good at it.

“But it’s all to play for in front of a capacity crowd at Tynecastle so we believe we can go there and hopefully get the job done.”

Hibernian will take a 3-1 lead into the second-leg of their Europa Conference League third qualifying round tie against Swiss side Luzern after a pulsating victory at Easter Road.

With a play-off against Aston Villa awaiting the winners, Hibs struck first moments after the interval with a wonderful strike from Joe Newell.

Ismajl Beka nodded Luzern back level in the 57th minute.

But debutant Dylan Vente headed home with 18 minutes remaining and Jordan Obita added a third in the 90th minute as Hibs took charge of the tie heading into next week’s second leg in Switzerland.

Despite Sunday’s 3-2 home league defeat to St Mirren, Hibs manager Lee Johnson opted to be ambitious with his team selection.

New signing Vente was plunged straight in after resolving work permit issues to partner veteran striker Adam Le Fondre in attack.

With wingers Martin Boyle and Elie Youan providing attacking intent on the flanks of a four-man midfield, the Easter Road side were set up to be bold going forward and it paid off in the end.

But they had to do a lot of defending in the opening 20 minutes as Luzern showed their class on the ball.

Home keeper David Marshall was called into action after just five minutes to prevent Hibs from going behind early.

Martin Frydek clipped a superb pass over the top of right-back Lewis Miller to find winger Teddy Okou but his shot across goal was palmed away by Marshall.

Hibs got a sniff of a chance in the 27th minute from a long Miller throw. Skipper Paul Hanlon won the first contact and the ball eventually fell for Will Fish, whose attempted volley was blocked.

Dylan Levitt scrambled back with a last-ditch touch to prevent Max Meyer from a clear shot on goal as Luzern threatened again.

Soon after it was Hibs’ turn as Newell found Le Fondre’s intelligent run down the right but his attempt to find Vente at the near post was cleared, before Boyle’s 25-yard drive was tipped over by Luzern goalkeeper Pascal Loretz.

It was Hibs who opened the scoring just 18 seconds after the interval.

Boyle’s tenacity blocked a clearance on the right and Le Fondre helped it on for Vente whose smart lay-off was drilled into the top corner by Newell.

The lead lasted just 11 minutes. Luzern earned themselves a second corner in quick succession and Meyer’s in-swinging delivery was headed in by Beka.

Hibs regained the lead when Le Fondre crossed for an unmarked Vente to nod in from six yards.

Both teams continued to go for the jugular and substitute Christian Doidge almost grabbed a third for Hibs but his near-post shot from a low Boyle cross clipped the crossbar on the its way over.

Two minutes later at the other end, Pius Dorn’s drive crashed back off the crossbar with Marshall well beaten.

With the home side starting to look for the full-time whistle, they found a third from nowhere.

Luzern put themselves into trouble with a cross-field pass that Obita seized on to race clear and slot home.

Birthday boy Lawrence Shankland gave Hearts some much-needed Euro encouragement with a crucial second-half goal in a 2-1 defeat by Rosenborg in Trondheim.

Emil Frederiksen put the home side ahead in the 14th minute of the Europa Conference League third qualifying round first leg at the Lerkendal Stadion before 20-year-old Canada international Jayden Nelson made it 2-0 in added time in the first half.

The Jambos had been well off the pace but they responded positively after the break and pulled a goal back in the 78th minute through their skipper on his 28th birthday to perhaps turn the tie in the Gorgie side’s favour ahead of the return game at Tynecastle next Thursday night.

Hearts head coach Frankie McAvoy will certainly be pleased that his side fought back after a ropey first half.

He tweaked his line-up from Saturday’s 2-0 cinch Premiership win over St Johnstone, notably Beni Baningime starting for the first time in 17 months after recovering from a torn knee ligament in March, 2022 – but he had a wretched time and was replaced at half-time.

Rangers loanee and fellow midfielder Alex Lowry came in for his first start, with left-back Alex Cochrane reinstated.

Svein Maalen’s side, eighth in Norway’s Eliteserien after 18 games, had the first attempt on goal inside the opening two minutes when Carlo Holse stabbed a cross wide of the target before 16-year-old Sverre Nypan fired a long-distance effort over the bar.

However, the home side did deservedly forged ahead when Nypan turned Baningime inside the Hearts box and crossed for Frederiksen to knock into the net from a few yards out after getting in front of Cochrane.

It was midway through the first half before Hearts had a shot on goal but Alan Forrest’s low drive was comfortably saved by keeper Andre Hansen.

Moments later, Jambos keeper Zander Clark made a better save from the ever-dangerous Nelson, whose curling shot was heading for inside the far post.

Then, on the half-hour mark, Rosenborg’s Tobias Borkeeiet came close with a long-distance drive which shaved Clark’s left-hand post.

But in the second minute of added time, Nypan raced away from struggling Baningime who pulled up and with the Hearts defence in shreds, he simply slipped the ball to Nelson to beat Clark from close range.

Peter Haring took over from Baningime for the second half and the visitors looked more at ease, and in the 52nd minute Shankland missed the target with a header when he should have hit the target.

There was a penalty shout when Lowry was sent spinning by the Rosenborg keeper inside the box as he tried to reach a Cochrane pass but Romanian referee Andrei Chivulete was unmoved.

Rejuvenated Hearts got the goal they deserved with 12 minutes left when substitute Stephen Kingsley crossed from the left for Scotland striker Shankland to direct a header past Hansen.

The Edinburgh side went in search of a leveller which left Rosenborg looking a bit shaky but they held on for the win, although Hearts will leave Norway confident they can recover the tie in the second leg to set up a meeting with either Hajduk Split or PAOK.

Hibernian manager Lee Johnson admitted he ignored medical advice to accelerate Martin Boyle’s comeback before the winger’s double sent his side on their way to European redemption.

Boyle was a surprise starter as Hibs made amends against Inter d’Escaldes in a 6-1 second-leg victory to set up a Europa Conference League third qualifying-round tie against Swiss side Luzern.

The winger had only played 45 minutes in pre-season, against Blackpool on Saturday, but made his first competitive appearance in nine months and struck the first two goals on his return from a serious knee injury.

Johnson said: “I believe in him and I believed he would (make an impact) because I have seen him every day.

“I have been as frustrated as anybody and in fact I went against medial guidance last week to play him at Blackpool with this game in mind.

“I had to question myself a little bit, whether it was desperation to put him in, but it’s more about the balance of the team and what we require to be as elite as we were.

“It was needs must in one sense but he was also ready. He passed all the physical markers on Tuesday.

“He has worked extremely hard and he has been champing at the bit to get on earlier. We are very proud of him of how hard he has worked but he will be very happy and he will sleep well I am sure.”

Hibs overcame the blow of losing goalkeeper David Marshall to a tight hamstring in the warm-up and then debutant Jojo Wollacott to a thigh injury early on. Max Boruc came on for his own debut and had little to do before conceding an impressive late consolation goal.

Hibs had well and truly banished the pain of last week’s 2-1 defeat in Andorra by that point, with the help of Josh Campbell’s double and goals from Christian Doidge and Elie Youan.

Johnson added: “It was a difficult game last week. Obviously we have taken a lot of stick but we never lost our belief and that showed in this performance. There was no edginess, the players were still confident, we played our way.

“They are dangerous, they can play up to the big nine, they have two tricky wingers. We had to get on the front foot and disrupt their back four. That’s what we did and that’s why they couldn’t handle us.

“We broke their spirit early, which was key. Every man was at it.”

Martin Boyle made a triumphant return as Hibernian bounced back from their shock defeat in Andorra to move safely into the next round of the Europa Conference League with a 6-1 win over Inter d’Escaldes.

Boyle hit an early double on his first appearance in nine months to set Hibs on their way to a 7-3 aggregate victory at Easter Road.

Josh Campbell also scored twice and Christian Doidge and Elie Youan were on target as Hibs made up to the travelling fans who launched a vitriolic response to their team’s defeat seven days earlier.

Hibs survived injuries to two goalkeepers to progress to a tie against Swiss side Luzern or Swedes Djurgarden, who kicked off later in the evening.

Boyle was a surprise inclusion in a team which showed six changes to the one that lost last week. The Australia international’s previous game for Hibs was in late October, when he suffered a knee injury which ruled him out of the World Cup.

Boyle had been taken to Andorra for what manager Lee Johnson described as “cheerleading” duties on the bench but he was drafted straight into the starting line-up after playing 45 minutes of a friendly against Blackpool on Saturday.

The winger made his mark inside 10 minutes. Boyle ran on to Joe Newell’s pass over the full-back and rolled the ball into an empty net after the goalkeeper raced off his line only to palm the ball off the wide player.

Hibs suffered a blow when Jojo Wollacott’s debut was cut short by a thigh problem after replacing David Marshall when the former Scotland goalkeeper suffered an injury in the warm-up. Max Boruc came on for his own debut.

Hibs doubled their lead midway through the half when the unmarked Boyle headed home Newell’s cross from seven yards.

Doidge netted an overhead kick in the 29th minute after Will Fish had headed against the bar and the goals continued three minutes after the interval.

Campbell took advantage of hesitancy in the visiting defence to loop a header home after Doidge’s flick-on, and the midfielder tapped home his second in the 61st minute following good wing play from Youan.

Youan soon smashed the ball high into the net to make it six and there were other chances for Hibs to give their supporters further cause to wonder how they had managed to lose so poorly in the first leg. Substitute Dylan Levitt saw long-range volley tipped over and Doidge had a goal ruled out for offside.

There was a late reminder that their opponents had some quality in their ranks in the 83rd minute when Angel De La Torre arrowed an excellent finish into the top corner for a consolation goal which prompted applause from some of the 13,840 crowd.

It was Inter’s first effort on target of the night but Boruc went on to make a decent late stop with his foot.

Hibernian manager Lee Johnson called for fans to maintain belief ahead of their second leg against Inter d’Escaldes as he claimed it was too strong to describe their 2-1 defeat in Andorra an embarrassment.

Joe Newell’s stoppage-time free-kick gave Hibs a lifeline after they conceded in each half of the first leg of the Europa Conference League second qualifying round.

Johnson asked for negativity over their defeat to be kept under control ahead of next Thursday’s return leg.

“I’m super disappointed,” he said. “The word ’embarrassing’ feels strong considering the tie is not over.

“I knew, I told you guys, these are not a bad side. They remind me of my dad’s Cheltenham side when they were doing very well in League Two.

“We don’t have any given right to go and beat anybody unless we are at it.

“We have to be  on the front foot, aggressive, confident, brave and bold, and we weren’t that until we took a punch on the nose and made a couple of changes.

“Individuals have got to hold their hands up and be responsible, I have got to hold my hands up and be responsible, but what we don’t need is the tension and the tightness of the negativity to seep into the players’ performances.

“The fans have got to maintain belief. We need everyone in the second leg to give us that bolster.”

Slack defending saw Hibs fall behind in the 15th minute and they struggled to respond before Johnson brought on Christian Doidge and Newell at half-time.

Even then chances were at a premium before David Marshall spilled a weak shot after a goal kick had bounced over Lewis Stevenson’s head, and Jean-Luc doubled the home side’s lead in the 71st minute.

Hibs suddenly found some urgency to their play and Johnson could not understand where it had been at the start of the game.

“I’m majorly disappointed with the first-half performance, I thought it was really, really poor,” he said. “We didn’t acclimatise, whether that was conditions or altitude.

“The lads knew everything about the opposition, we had studied them deeply, and they were good. You have to give the Andorrans credit, they worked extremely hard.

“There were far too many unforced errors from us. You could give them credit, you could say it was good pressing.

“There were too many individual poor decisions. We should have been better in our decision-making and our execution.

“We took a bit of stick and that was fair. Second half was much better.

“I made some half-time substitutions and they did well and I thought we had opportunties to maybe even go on and win the game.

“The second goal is an absolute suckler punch, a poor couple of errors which senior players will hold their hands up to, no doubt.

“And Joe Newell’s goal really was ever so important because this is a completely different game now going back to Easter Road, big wide pitch, fans behind us.

“We have to be careful not to be too negative, certainly not in-house.”

Joe Newell’s stoppage-time free-kick gave Hibernian a lifeline during an embarrassing 2-1 Europa Conference League defeat in Andorra.

David Marshall’s howler had left Hibernian facing an uphill battle to avoid an early exit as home side Inter d’Escaldes went two ahead in the 71st minute.

A day after Hibs announced Marshall would hand the captaincy back to Paul Hanlon after a season with the armband, the 38-year-old’s fumble allowed the home side to double their lead in the second qualifying round first leg.

Marshall had been left utterly exposed for the home side’s 15th-minute opener and there were very few positives for manager Lee Johnson in his first European game until Newell’s intervention.

The midfielder drove a low effort from 20 yards after Elie Youan was tripped on the edge of the box and the home goalkeeper could not keep it out.

Hibs still face a fight to overturn their deficit and set up a clash against Swedes Djurgardens or Swiss side Luzern in the next round.

Youan and Josh Campbell had efforts comfortably saved early on for Hibs but there were warning signs of the consequences of slack play inside their own half shortly before the opening goal.

Marshall was called into action to make a good stop before Hibs again soon found themselves under pressure.

Lewis Stevenson was left out of position after trying to win a header near the halfway line and Ander El Haddadi had space and time to pick out a man when Rocky Bushiri’s attempts to cover failed to put enough pressure on the wide player.

Right-back Adrian Gallego was completely unmarked and knocked home from close range after Marshall had made an excellent stop from his initial effort.

Hibs struggled to make any inroads for the rest of the half and Christian Doidge replaced Elias Melkerson at half-time to join debutant Adam Le Fondre up front while Newell came on for Dylan Levitt.

Doidge had a decent shot parried and then misdirected a header from 12 yards but Hibs generally laboured in possession.

There was much worse to come for Johnson’s side after a goal kick bounced over Stevenson’s head and allowed El Haddadi to get a speculative first-time effort on target.

Marshall got down to make what looked like an easy save but the former Scotland goalkeeper fumbled and Jean-Luc had the simple task of tapping home from close range.

Hibs discovered some urgency as they looked for a lifeline. Le Fondre forced a good save from a header and both he and Doidge missed chances before Newell netted.

Youan’s ball across the face of goal threatened to set up a late leveller but Hibs were defeated.

Hibernian will take on Vikingur of the Faroe Islands or Andorran side Inter Club d’Escaldes in their European opener.

Hibs begin their campaign in the second qualifying round of the Europa Conference League on July 27. Details of the fixtures are still to be confirmed.

Lee Johnson’s side were seeded in the draw and avoided some tough opponents in their section such as Danish side Aarhus or Swedes Hammarby.

Inter were seeded in the draw for the first qualifying round. They beat Faroese opposition, HB Torshavn, in the Champions League qualifiers two years ago, and also beat Fiorita of San Marino last season.

Inter ultimately went out at the second qualifying round of the Conference League last season, losing to Romanian side Cluj 4-1 on aggregate after a first-leg draw.

Vikingur beat opposition from Gibraltar in the Conference League qualifiers last season before suffering a 4-0 aggregate defeat by Slovakian side Dac in the second round.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.