Europa Conference League: Troost-Ekong and Baba Rahman star as PAOK claim dominant win

Europa Conference League: Troost-Ekong and Baba Rahman star as PAOK claim dominant win
Credit: Icon Sport

Greek club PAOK Thessaloniki, also known as PAOK FC or PAOK Salonika, scaled past their UEFA Europa Conference League second-round qualifying opponents Beitar Jerusalem on Thursday.

Super Eagles vice-captain William Troost-Ekong and Ghana international Baba Rahman played the whole game for the Greek side.

A 4-1 win at the Teddy Stadium on the night saw PAOK Salonika secure their ticket to the third qualifying round of the Europa Conference League.

They will now turn their attention to their next opponents, Croatian side Hajduk Split who they will face on 10 August, with the return leg on 17 August..

Beitar 1-4 PAOK: Troost-Ekong and Rahman see out comfortable qualification in Europa Conference League qualifying round

The Super Eagles and Black Stars defenders were in the starting XI for PAOK in the second leg tie of their Europa Conference League second qualifying round fixture against Beitar Jerusalem.

Both teams were coming into the game with a similar match record in all competitions but more importantly was their aggregate score.

They had played a goalless draw at PAOK's home stadium, which meant the match was anyone's to lose.

Home advantage, however, did not favour Beitar who went behind in the 12th minute. An own goal from defender Edi Gotlieb opened the scoring in both legs of their Europa Conference League second round qualifying tie.

The hosts recovered and both teams traded blows until Troost-Ekong's side went ahead in the first minute of the additional time for the first half. Beitar pulled one back with the last kick of the first half to pile pressure on PAOK.

That pressure saw them both fail to finish their chances in the second half until the home side cracked and scored another own goal in the 91st minute to hand the visitors the lifeline.

PAOK would put the final nail on the coffin of their hosts with a goal in the 96th minute to finish the game 4-1. That set up a meeting with Hajduk Split as they look to earn a place at the Europa Conference League finals which begins in September.

Other Europa Conference League results

Gift Orban did not make an appearance for KAA Gent as they thrashed MŠK Žilina 5-2 in Slovakia.

His striker partner Hugo Cuypers got two of the five goals which saw their aggregate score rise to 10-3 at the end of the match.

Gent will face a team that will be determined by a draw on 7 August in the Europa Conference League third qualifying round. Orban may not be around for the match, however, as the speculation around his future continues.

Nigeria national football team fullback Bright Osayi-Samuel's Fenerbahçe also scaled through with a 9-0 aggregate win over FC Zimbru Chișinău from the Moldovan Super Liga.

Super Eagles goalkeeper Francis Uzoho sat out Omonoia Nicosia's victory over Gabala FK from Azerbaijan Premier League. Their third round opponents will be known at the draw in Nylon, Switzerland on 7 August.

This article was most recently revised and updated 7 months ago

All-round lover of the beautiful game. Massive football fan, supported Arsenal for decades for reasons that are unexplainable. One day we will win the Champions League!