Monday, May 20, 2024

Conference League | Fiorentina reaches the final for the second time in a row at the expense of Club Brugge


By the way, the Fiorentina victory is not good news for Ajax. Because it is now not certain whether fifth place in the Eredivisie provides access to the group stage of the Europa League. If Fiorentina were to win the Conference League, it would automatically qualify for the Europa League. And in that case, the Amsterdam team will have to play preliminary rounds.

They were just sidenotes on an eventful Conference League evening. Just like in Florence, Bruges and Fiorentina (3-2 for the Italians) turned it into a compelling battle. And actually Fiorentina had little to fear from the Belgian leader. Out of nowhere it suddenly became 1-0. A nice cross from Hans Vanaken seemed to be touched by Maxim De Cuyper. The goal has been officially awarded to Vanaken. No matter how or through whom the ball went in: Bruges had a total of 3-3. The more than justified Fiorentina goal could have been scored before half time. Christian Kouamé saw his attempt hit the crossbar.


It looked like Maxim De Cuyper headed the ball in for Club Brugge, but the goal was scored by Hans Vanaken

Photo: Getty Images

Final against Olympiacos or Aston Villa

Cristiano Biraghi (free kick) and M’Bala Nzola (header) also scored for Fiorentina after half-time. You could call it a small miracle if Bruges were to survive. Even if they survived, coach Nicky Hayen’s team thought they would reach the final battle. In addition, Brugge could rely on an excellent goalkeeping Simon Mignolet.

A leg raised too high by Bruges defender Brandon Mechele threw a spanner in the works. In the 85th minute, Argentinian Lucas Beltrán shot Fiorentina 4-3 from the spot. This allows Fiorentina to make up for last year’s lost Conference League final (2-1 against West Ham) on May 29 in Athens. The opponent will be announced tomorrow: Olympiacos or Aston Villa.


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