Three goals within eight minutes gave Häcken a dream start away from home against Liepāja in the first qualifying round tie in Latvia.
The victory means that Alhassan Crespo Kamara side in pole position to reach the next stage of the competition with an excellent starting position for the return match at Bravida Arena next Thursday.
Goals from Daleho Irandust 74′, Brazilian Paulinho Guerreiro 77′ and Swedish attacker Mervan Çelik in the 82′ minutes were enough as the visitors outshined their host on Thursday night Europa League qualifier.
It was a great 3-0 victory for the Swedish side in a rainy Latvia. They now one step away to face last season’s sixth-best team in Germany RB Leipzig in the next phase.
The German side will host the aggregate winner in the first leg of the second qualifying round on July 26 and the second leg slated for 2 August.
The Sierra Leone striker, who started on the Häcken’s bench was later introduced replacing Paulinho in the 84th minute. Kamara (in) – Paulinho (out) (Häcken).
This year’s Europa league competition is the club’s fifth for the past eleven years. Results ? http://bit.ly/2Jiz4q2
Mervan Çelik who registered the third for Häcken after the match stated, – I want to show that I want to start each match. I think I showed it properly today. But the best thing was that we won 3-0, even though it was crazy to score,” said 20-year-old.
Elsewhere, Hassan Milla Sesay’s FC Lahti defeated at home 0-3 to Icelandic side FH Hafnarfjördur, while George Davies’ Latvian side FC Riga suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat against Bulgarian top-tier side CSKA Sofia at the Bulgarska Armia Stadium.
A tough task awaits Sesay’s Lathi away from home following a three-nil defeat in front of their home fans.
Davies’ Riga can still qualify if they can overturn a goal deficit in Latvia next Thursday, July 19 2018.
Should Davies side progress they will face Austrian Bundesliga outfit Admira Wacker Mödling in the next round.
The 2018/19 UEFA Europa League final will be staged at the Baku stadium in the Azerbaijani capital on Wednesday 29 May 2019.
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