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Football: Raków stuns Gent in Europa Conference League qualifiers

Raków Częstochowa caused a big upset winning 1:0 with the favoured KAA Gent in the fourth round of the UEFA Europa Conference League qualifiers in Bielsko-Biała, southern Poland. The second leg will take place in Belgium on August 26.

The Polish side took the lead in the 64th minute, when Andrzej Niewulis put the ball in the net after chaos in the KKA Gent penalty area. Two minutes later, it could have been 1-1, but after a shot in the perfect position of Tarik Tissoudali, the ball hit the post.

Due to an injury, Wiktor Długosz left the field in 90 minutes, and as the limit of substitutions had been used earlier, Raków had to endure the attacks of Gent with ten men on the pitch. The referee extended the game by more than seven minutes, but the Belgians, who were overall the better team, did not manage to equalise. The second leg will take place in Gent on August 26, as the promotion to the group stage is at stake.

The players coached by Marek Papszun started its campaign in the second round of qualifying, eliminating Sūduva Marijampolė from Lithuania and knocking out the Russian side Rubin Kazan in the next phase. They are yet to concede a goal in this tournament.

Raków Częstochowa plays as hosts in Bielsko-Biała due to the high cost of adapting their facility to the requirements of these games and the larger capacity of the stands of the stadium, where the local Podbeskidzie plays in the first league on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, in the qualifying clash for the Europa League, Legia Warsaw drew 2:2 with Slavia in Prague. The Polish side, plagued by injuries, managed to stand up to the favourites, although they were overwhelmed in terms of ball possession and goal opportunities.

Despite the good result and the game in Warsaw ahead, Slavia is still the front-runner of the competition. Nevertheless, Legia has already earned a Europa Conference League spot, so they are guaranteed to compete in the group stage of one of the tournaments.


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