Fiorentina knocks FC Twente out of European football league
FC Twente was knocked out of the Europa Conference League on Thursday night after playing to a 0-0 draw in their second leg match against Fiorentina in Enschede. Fiorentina won the first match 2-1, putting them through on aggregate.
Both teams played hard in a back-and-forth match where the Dutch team played with more confidence than during the first leg. Michel Vlap had an early strike in the first half that was cleared from the goal line by Arthur Cabril. Efforts from Ramin Zerrouki and Michal Sadilek were also saved by Fiorentina’s goalkeeper, Pietro Terraciano. A skillful free kick by the Italian side’s Riccardo Sottil that shifted direction was stopped by Twente keeper Lars Unnerstall.
Vaclav Cerny nearly put Twente ahead early in the second half with a close strike assisted by Virgil Misidjan. Fiorentina defender Igor Julio managed to get his foot to the ball to stop the shot. Twente was denied a goal by Terraciano at other moments, as Unnerstall kept the Dutch team in the match. The German keeper stopped Jonathan Ikoné twice. He also found good fortune when an overhead kick by Rolando Mandragora bounced off the post.
Six minutes of extra time was added, just enough for Igor to get his second yellow card, putting Fiorentina down to ten men for the final moments of the match. A header by Joshua Brenet nearly brought Twente level on aggregate, but it was only just off target.
With that, Twente exited European football for the season. Alkmaar side AZ beat Portuguese side Gil Vicente 1-2 in the second leg of their match, handily winning on aggregate by a five-goal margin. They will learn of their next opponents in the Europa Conference League group stage later on Friday.
Feyenoord and PSV will learn of their Europa League opponents during the day, as well. Ajax found out on Thursday they will take on Liverpool, Napoli, and Rangers FC in the Champions League group stage.