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Spirit shows through on exciting night

FK Crvena Zvezda, Saint Patrick's Athletic FC and Athletic Club Bilbao made comebacks to progress from the third qualifying round with the likes of Hamburger SV, Galatasaray SK and AS Roma.

Ryan Guy (left) and goalkeeper Gary Rogers celebrate after St Patrick's secured progress in Russia
Ryan Guy (left) and goalkeeper Gary Rogers celebrate after St Patrick's secured progress in Russia ©Sportsfile

The UEFA Europa League third qualifying round second legs were played on Thursday night with Irish club Saint Patrick's Athletic FC securing a memorable success in Russia and former European champions FK Crvena Zvezda fighting back in style to move to within one tie of the group stage. Meanwhile, Athletic Club Bilbao overturned a home defeat to oust BSC Young Boys and Hamburger SV, PSV Eindhoven, Fenerbahçe SK, Galatasaray SK and AS Roma are also among those earning places in the play-off round draw at 13.30CET on Friday.

St Patrick's led PFC Krylya Sovetov Samara 1-0 prior to their trip to Russia but Anton Bober levelled the aggregate score late in the first half and Evgeni Savin struck on 53 and 57 minutes. However, Bober put through his own net in the 73rd minute and five minutes later on-loan Dundalk FC player Declan O'Brien struck his fourth of this campaign to sent the Saints through on away goals.

Lekić heroics
Crvena Zvezda lost 2-0 at FC Dinamo Tbilisi last week and Dejan Lekić's early own goal seemed to make their task nigh impossible. However, Slavko Perović scored on 18 minutes and although Mate Vatsadze struck for Dinamo, Lekić scored at the right end and did so again in first-half injury time. Still Crvena Zvezda needed two goals, but they lost Slavoljub Djordjević to a red card with 20 minutes left. However, they won a penalty converted by Carlos Mendes and after Dinamo's Georges Owondo was dismissed, Lekić completed his hat-trick with two minutes left to make it 5-4 on aggregate.

Athletic through
Like St Pats, Athletic also proved their prowess on the road, having lost 1-0 at home to Young Boys last week. Fernando Llorente struck for the visitors on 26 minutes and substitute Iker Muniain's effort with 18 minutes left meant that, although Joetex Frimpong pulled one back in injury time just before Gilles Yapi was sent off for Young Boys, Athletic progressed on away goals.

Comfortable progress
Last season's UEFA Cup semi-finalists Hamburg led Denmark's Randers FC 4-0 from their away leg, meaning they could afford to lose the return 1-0 at home. AS Roma followed their 3-1 home win against KAA Gent with a 7-1 triumph in Belgium marked by a Francesco Totti hat-trick and PSV, Fulham FC, LOSC Lille Métropole, Galatasaray SK and Fenerbahçe SK all cruised through.

Austrian treble
PSV Eindhoven and NAC Breda ensured a Dutch double and three Austrian teams made progress. But while SK Sturm Graz ousted FK Petrovac 7-1 overall with a 5-0 win, FK Austria Wein trailed FK Vojvodina on away goals until two strikes in the last nine minutes took them through and SK Rapid Wein needed Christopher Trimmel's exta-time goal to eliminate APOP/Kinyras Peyias FC. FC Steaua Bucureşti overcame Motherwell 6-1 on aggregate to emulate fellow former European champions Crvena Zvezda, PSV and Hamburg. One side went through on penalties; FK Sarajevo ousting Helsingborgs IF 5-4 in the shoot-out after a 2-1 comeback home win cancelled out their loss in Sweden.

Deciding legs
For all of tonight's results,click here. The seeding pots for the play-off round will be confirmed prior to the draw, with matches to be played on 20 and 27 August. All full list of the sides entering at this stage can be seen by clicking here, with 15 other moving to the competition after defeat in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.