• Twelve clubs seal debut UEFA Europa League group stage berths on Thursday
• European first-timers FC Krasnodar eliminate Real Sociedad de Fútbol
• Azerbaijani side Qarabağ FK, twice beaten at this juncture, oust FC Twente
• AS Saint-Étienne defeat Kardemir Karabükspor in the sole tie to go to penalties
• The group stage draw takes place on Friday at 13.00CET in Monaco
There was drama and upsets in abundance as the UEFA Europa League play-offs concluded with 12 teams qualifying for the group stage for the first time.
FC Dinamo Moskva were heading out on away goals at AC Omonia until Christopher Samba headed a 93rd-minute winner for a 4-3 aggregate success. Their Russian Premier-Liga rivals FC Krasnodar − making their continental debut this season − overturned a 1-0 first-leg deficit against Real Sociedad de Fútbol with a 3-0 home victory, all of the goals coming in the last 20 minutes.
FC Astra Giurgiu and Asteras Tripolis FC advanced on away goals, the former ending Olympique Lyonnais's European interest, while Qarabağ FK and KSC Lokeren OV accounted for FC Twente and Hull City respectively by the same means. Rio Ave FC also triumphed on away goals, though they needed Esmaël Gonçalves' added-time effort to see off IF Elfsborg, his goal clinching a 1-0 success on the night.
FC Dinamo Minsk's 3-2 triumph at CD Nacional, which completed a 5-2 overall win, means Belarus will have two sides in group stage action this term following FC BATE Borisov's UEFA Champions League progress on Tuesday.
AS Saint-Étienne, Feyenoord, HJK Helsinki and Torino FC also earned debut places in the group stage of this competition. Feyenoord, having surrendered a 3-0 lead at home to FC Zorya Luhansk, were grateful to substitute Elvis Manu's added-time intervention. St-Étienne, meanwhile, required penalties to edge out Kardemir Karabükspor.
DOELPUNT FEYENOORD!!!! MANU DOET HET! 4-3!
— Feyenoord Rotterdam (@Feyenoord) August 28, 2014
VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach recorded the biggest win of the night as Branimir Hrgota registered a hat-trick in the Bundesliga outfit's 7-0 defeat of FK Sarajevo. Mateo Kovačić was also on target three times, during FC Internazionale Milano's six-goal display against Stjarnan.
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