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Europa Conference League highlights and round-up: Anderlecht, Gent, Nice, Sivasspor among final-day qualifiers

Two Belgian sides were among the qualifiers on an exciting final day of group fixtures in the UEFA Europa Conference League.

Nice celebrate their opener in Cologne
Nice celebrate their opener in Cologne Getty Images

Nine teams booked their spots in the knockout stages as the 2022/23 UEFA Europa Conference League group stage came to an end.

UEFA.com rounds up the Matchday 6 action.

Who is through to the knockouts?

Group winners: AZ Alkmaar (NED), Djurgården (SWE), İstanbul Başakşehir (TUR), Nice (FRA), Sivasspor (TUR), Slovan Bratislava (SVK), West Ham (ENG), Villarreal (SPA)
Advance directly to the round of 16

Group runners-up: Anderlecht (BEL), Basel (SUI), CFR Cluj (ROU), Dnipro-1 (UKR), Fiorentina (ITA), Gent (BEL), Lech (POL), Partizan (SRB)
Progress to the knockout round play-offs, where they will face one of eight teams transferring from the UEFA Europa League having finished third in their groups

Third-placed sides from UEFA Europa League group stage confirmed in Europa Conference League knockout round play-offs: AEK Larnaca (CYP), Bodø/Glimt (NOR), Braga (POR), Lazio (ITA), Ludogorets (BUL), Qarabağ (AZE), Sheriff (MDA), Trabzonspor (TUR) 

FCSB 0-3 West Ham

Highlights: FCSB 0-3 West Ham

West Ham became the first club ever to complete a perfect UEFA Europa Conference League group stage campaign with a comfortable win in Bucharest. Pablo Fornals expertly volleyed in the first-half opener for the much-changed Hammers, before teenage Hammers debutant Divin Mubama's header – which was heading wide – was put into his own net by Joyskim Dawa to double the lead. Fornals completed the scoring with his second as the Hammers made it six wins out of six and left FCSB winless in the group.

Key stat: West Ham have won ten of their last 12 group stage matches in UEFA competition (D1 L1).

Köln 2-2 Nice

Highlights: Köln 2-2 Nice

Nice progressed as Group D winners but Köln bowed out after a pulsating draw in Germany. Gaëtan Laborde broke the deadlock for the visitors with a low strike five minutes before half-time and Billal Brahimi pounced to make it 2-0 three minutes later. However Denis Huseinbasic lashed in from an angle within three minutes of the turnaround and Ondrej Duda fired the leveller on the hour to set up a tense finale.

Key stat: Köln fell a single goal shy of qualifying for the knockout stage of a European competition for the first time since 1990.

Gent 4-0 Molde

Highlights: Gent 4-0 Molde

Let down by their finishing in the first half, Gent found the goals in the second to get the win they needed to replace the Norwegian champions in second place in Group F. Andrew Hjulsager cut in from the left to arrow in the Belgian side's opener on 52 minutes before defender Bruno Godeau forced in a second, and Sven Kums flicked over Molde keeper Jacob Karlstrøm, Hugo Cuypers completing the scoring from the penalty spot.

Key stat: Gent have reached the spring stage of a UEFA club competition for the third time in the last four seasons.

Knockout round play-off draw

Best of the rest

Highlights: CFR Cluj 1-0 Ballkani

• CFR Cluj made it through to the knockout rounds despite scoring just five goals and ending with a goal difference of zero after a narrow win at home to Ballkani.

• Anderlecht leapfrogged Silkeborg to finish second in Group B thanks to goals from Lior Refaelov and Benito Raman in Denmark.

• Hapoel Beer-Sheva equalled their biggest ever European win as they saw off Austria Wien 4-0 – but it was not enough to qualify as Lech overcame Group C winners Villarreal 3-0 to snatch second place.

All the Matchday 6 results

Group A: RFS 0-3 Fiorentina, İstanbul Başakşehir 3-1 Hearts
Group B: FCSB 0-3 West Ham, Silkeborg 0-2 Anderlecht
Group C: Lech 3-0 Villarreal, Hapoel Beer-Sheva 4-0 Austria Wien
Group D: Partizan 1-1 Slovácko, Köln 2-2 Nice
Group E: Apollon Limassol 1-0 Vaduz, AZ Alkmaar 2-1 Dnipro-1
Group F: Djurgården 1-0 Shamrock Rovers, Gent 4-0 Molde
Group G: Slavia Praha 1-1 Sivasspor, CFR Cluj 1-0 Ballkani
Group H: Žalgiris 1-2 Slovan Bratislava, Pyunik 1-2 Basel

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