Elie Youan believes Hibernian have earned the right to dream of the Europa Conference League group stage after seeing off Luzern to set up a play-off against Aston Villa.

Hibs will host Villa in the first leg next Wednesday after a 2-2 draw in Switzerland sealed a 5-3 aggregate win.

Youan played a major role in the triumph, scoring an early opener in Lucerne before setting up Martin Boyle to level on the night and thrill the Hibs fans, who have seen their team lose their opening two league games.

Youan told the club’s website: “It was a very tough game. We beat them at home so we knew what to expect from them. We knew they would be attacking, but we expected this type of game.

“We handled it very well, got ourselves a draw and now were through to the next round.

“It was important for us not to lose after the result against Motherwell at the weekend.

“The fans made a lot of effort to travel out to Switzerland, some made a lot of long journeys to get here so it was very important to win for them.”

The former Nantes and St Gallen player added: “It was a special, special night. It was even more special for me because I was back here in Switzerland. I played here for one-year-and-a-half in Switzerland and I’ve never won in Luzern so that was an added bonus.”

Youan is looking to create even more special memories by dumping Villa out of the competition.

“If we want to get to the Conference League groups then we have to beat a good team,” the 24-year-old said.

“We can keep dreaming – anything can happen in this competition.”

Hibs will first have to take care of a Viaplay Cup second-round clash Raith Rovers at Easter Road on Sunday and manager Lee Johnson knows he faces some tough decisions.

Johnson admitted after last Sunday’s defeat by Motherwell that his squad were struggling to meet their early-season demands and a fixture clash with Hearts means his players will have one day less to recover and prepare for their next European game.

Johnson told Hibs TV: “Obviously we are going to have to play at 5.45 on Wednesday and a Sunday game, and I know how important the Sunday one is to all of us as well.

“Listen, we have got to find the energy from somewhere, whether that’s changing the team or the boys just resting and recovering, because it’s a big game. It’s a big game for them and a big game for us, and then obviously we go into Aston Villa on Wednesday.”

Johnson will be without the suspended Rocky Bushiri against Raith, while Dylan Levitt is ruled out with an ankle injury that will be assessed in the coming days.

Hibernian manager Lee Johnson praised his “warriors” after a 2-2 draw in Switzerland set up a European clash with Aston Villa.

Villa captain John McGinn will bring his team to Easter Road next Wednesday for the first leg of the Europa Conference League play-offs after Hibs secured a 5-3 aggregate victory over Luzern.

Elie Youan scored early to put Hibs three ahead on aggregate and then set up Martin Boyle for a 73rd-minute equaliser after Luzern had got in front on the night.

Backed by about 1,000 travelling fans, Hibs saw out the game to ensure they progressed through a second European round in a season for only the second time in 50 years.

Johnson told Hibs TV: “I’m super proud. I’m proud of everybody – the board, the fans, the staff who work ever so hard, and the players. The players have been absolute Trojans.

“This was a stretch game for us, they are a quality side. The boys have worked so hard, they have had to double up,  run forward, run back, make big angles.

“When we had to see the game out, there were some really good passages of play.

“There were some big, big warrior-type performances. The fans massively played their part.

“It just goes to show we are building something here. Everybody is frustrated with us, and we are as well, with our league start in terms of the two losses.

“But this is a sign we can compete at this type of level and we just keep building the club and pushing it forward.”

Hibs reached the European Cup semi-finals in the competition’s first season in 1955-56 and made the last four and two quarter-finals of the Fairs Cup in the 1960s and the European Cup Winners’ Cup last eight in 1972-73.

But recent forays into Europe have not been successful.

Johnson added: “Hibs haven’t been amazing in the past in terms of Europe. This goes down as one of the biggest wins over two legs, probably in the club’s history. For that we are extremely proud and now obviously we bring on Aston Villa.”

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.”

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.

2012 Olympic Javelin champion Keshorn Walcott returned to the winner’s circle at the Luzern World Athletics Continental Tour-Silver Meet in Switzerland on Tuesday.

Walcott produced a best throw of 84.82m in the fifth round to take the win ahead of Latvian Patriks Gailums (83.30m) and Curtis Thompson of the USA (82.87m).

Bahamian Anthonique Strachan won the Women’s 200m in 22.66 ahead of Aminatou Seyni of Niger (22.71) and Jenna Prandini of the USA (22.82).

On the Men’s side, recently crowned NACAC champion Andrew Hudson of Jamaica was second in 20.47 behind the USA’s Kyree King (20.40). Charlie Dobson of Great Britain was third in 20.52.

Commonwealth Games champion Janieve Russell ran 55.25 for second in the Women’s 400m hurdles behind American Dalilah Muhammad (54.57). Finland’s Viivi Lehikoinen was third in 55.41.


Double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah was narrowly beaten by American Sha’Carri Richardson in the Women’s 100m at the Luzern World Athletics Continental Tour-Silver Meet in Switzerland on Tuesday.

In -2.0 second winds, Thompson-Herah ran 11.30 to narrowly finish behind Richardson (11.29). The USA’s Celera Barnes ran 11.40 for third.

Jamaica’s Natasha Morrison was victorious in the B-final in 11.42 ahead of Egypt’s Bassant Hemida (11.44) and Gambia’s Gina Bass (11.50).

On the Men’s side, World Championship semi-finalist Ackeem Blake ran 10.22 for third behind Commonwealth champion Ferdinand Omanyala of Kenya (10.18) and American World Championship silver medallist Marvin Bracy (10.17).

Commonwealth champion Rasheed Broadbell continued his stellar form in 2022 with a win at the Luzern World Athletics Continental Tour-Silver meet in Switzerland on Tuesday.

Broadbell ran 13.36 to win the 110m hurdles ahead of Americans Eric Edwards (13.53) and Jamal Britt (13.54). Olympic champion Hansle Parchment was fourth in 13.54.

The 22-year-old Broadbell has now won his last five races, including a personal best 12.99 to win at the Lausanne Diamond League last Friday.

In the B-final, Jamaica’s National U-20 record holder Damion Thomas was third in 13.71 behind Japan’s Izumiya Shunsuke (13.61) and American Robert Dunning (13.55).

In the Women’s 100m hurdles, Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico ran 12.86 for second behind the USA’s Tia Jones (12.78). Jones’ teammate Tonea Marshall was third in 13.04.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.