Cape Town - Everton
reached the Europa League group stages after successfully negotiating
the qualifiers, but 2017 losing finalists Ajax failed to make it past
Hajduk Split 1-1 Everton
Gylfi Sigurdsson scored on his full Everton debut to salvage a 1-1
draw with Hajduk Split at Stadion Poljud on Thursday, which sealed a 3-1
win on aggregate in the qualifying play-off round.
Sporting a 2-0 lead from the first leg, Ronald Koeman's side found
themselves trailing 1-0 at the break, but Sigurdsson's audacious
long-range strike shortly after the restart levelled matters as they
progressed to the tournament proper.
The hosts made the better start and created the first real chance on
18 minutes when Ante Erceg dragged his shot wide of the mark after
latching onto Said Ahmed Said's ball over the top.
Wayne Rooney then had a sniff on goal at the other end as he played
Cuco Martina into space on the left, but failed to direct his header on
target from the defender's cross.
Sigurdsson was invited to shoot when Dominic Calvert-Lewin's cross
was poorly cleared into his path on 25 minutes, but the Iceland
international sliced his effort wide from 18 yards out.
The Whites finished the half strongly, though, and Erceg forced
Jordan Pickford into a sharp save with his angle strike on 38 minutes
that took a deflection off Michael Keane, before they broke the deadlock
five minutes later.
Josip Radosevic lined up a shot from 35 yards out that flew over
Pickford, having touched Leighton Baines on its way into the back of the
However, their lead was short-lived as Sigurdsson equalised in the
opening minute of the second half with an incredible shot from all of 50
yards out that dipped over Dante Stipica to nestle in the goal. The play-maker had lost his footing in the attempt, but there was more than
enough power on it to sail over the home keeper.
Rooney missed another good chance when he failed to test Stipica with
a header from Ademola Lookman's cross, while at the other end Said was
unable to beat Pickford from the penalty spot after Ashley Williams had
felled Erceg inside the area.
The closing stages saw Stipica deny Calvert-Lewin one-on-one after
the youngster raced through on goal, before Rooney fired straight at the
Rosenborg 3-2 Ajax
Ajax's European adventure came to an early end after a 3-2 defeat to
Rosenborg at the Lerkendal Stadion saw them crash out at the first
The Dutch giants made it all the way to the final of the competition
last season before being bested by Manchester United, but there would be
no repeat this time around.
Having suffered a 1-0 reverse at home in the first leg, Marcel
Keizer's side fell behind to Nicklas Bendtner's 25th-minute opener which
gave the hosts a 1-0 lead at half-time.
However, two goals in the space of a minute in the second half from
Amin Younes (60') and Lasse Schone (61') appeared to swing the tie in
Ajax's favour until Samuel Adegbenro's late brace (80', 89') sent them
Thursday's other results:
AEK Larnaca 0-0 Viktoria Plzen
Dynamo Kyiv 3-1 Marítimo
Oleksandriya 1-2 BATE Borisov
Ostersund 2-0 PAOK
Red Bull Salzburg 4-0 Viitorul
Maccabi Tel Aviv 2-2 Rheindorf Altach
Zenit 2-2 Utrecht (AET)
Sheriff Tiraspol 0-0 Legia Warsaw
Fenerbahce 1-2 Vardar
Suduva 0-0 Ludogorets
AEK Athens 3-0 Club Brugge
Videoton 0-4 Partizan
Skenderbeu Korce 0-0 Dinamo Zagreb
Midtjylland 1-1 Apollon Limassol
Shkendija 0-1 Milan
Marseille 3-0 Domzale
Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Panathinaikos
Braga 3-2 FH
Red Star Belgrade 2-1 Krasnodar
Austria Wien 0-1 Osijek