ISTANBUL

Italy’s Milan qualified for the UEFA Europa League group stage late Thursday, beating Portuguese side Rio Ave 9-8 on penalties.

Milan scored the opener with Belgian defender Alexis Jesse Saelemaekers’ goal in the 51st minute at Estadio dos Arcos Stadium.

Rio Ave’s Francisco Geraldes equalized the game in the 72nd minute and the game went to extra time.

The home team took the lead when Gelson scored in the 91st minute but Milan’s Hakan Calhanoglu leveled the game with a penalty kick in the 122nd minute and the match went to penalties.

Milan won a 24-penalty shootout to advance to the Europa League group stage.

Meanwhile, Rio Ave’s Toni Borevkovic got a red card in the 120th minute.

Portugal’s Sporting CP eliminated

Sporting CP suffered a surprise defeat at home when Austrian side LASK eliminated them with a 4-1 drubbing.

Gernot Trauner, Marko Raguz, Peter Michorl, and Andreas Gruber’s goals brought the victory to LASK at Estadio Jose Alvalade.

The home side’s only goal was netted by Tiago Tomas.

Sporting’s Sebastian Coates was also sent off after receiving a red card.

In addition to Milan and LASK, other qualifiers for the group stage include Cluj (Romania), FK Crvena Zvezda (Serbia), Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia), Slovan Liberec (Czech Republic), Granada (Spain), Lech (Poland), PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands), Hapoel Beer-Sheva (Israel), Karabakh (Azerbaijan), Celtic (Scotland), Ludogorets (Bulgaria), Standard Liege (Belgium), Rijeka (Croatia), Dundalk (Ireland), Young Boys (Switzerland ), CSKA Sofya (Bulgaria), Rangers (Scotland), AEK (Greece), and Tottenham (England).

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