After a dramatic first leg in the Netherlands, Slavia Prague and Feyenoord will do battle for a place in the Europa Conference League semi-finals on Thursday, when they complete their quarter-final tie in the Czech capital.
Thursday’s hosts scored in the dying embers to come into the home leg on level terms, with the game now totally in the balance.
After finishing second in their Europa Conference League group, behind their quarter-final opponents, Slavia Prague had to go through two knockout rounds to reach the final eight, firstly seeing off Fenerbahce in a two-legged playoff.
That booked them a round-of-16 meeting with LASK, and, after a 4-1 home win courtesy of a Yira Sor brace and goals from Peter Olayinka and Ibrahim Traore, a narrow 4-3 away loss was enough to secure their progression.
Having been drawn against their group winners, Jindrich Trpisovsky’s side firstly faced the daunting task of a trip to the Netherlands last week, and, after going behind early, they took a 2-1 lead through Olayinka and Sor, before the hosts again turned the game on its head.
The Czech outfit looked set to fall to a 3-2 defeat in Rotterdam, only for Traore to pop up with a 95th-minute equaliser to bring the tie back to Prague on level terms.
Now with confidence on the back of a 4-0 league win at the weekend to move back to the summit of the Czech top flight, the Cervenobili will aim to make use of home advantage and pick up a second-leg victory to book their place in the semi-finals.
Slavia Prague’s Ibrahim Benjamin Traore celebrates their first goal scored by Peter Olayinka on April 7, 2022© Reuters
Their opponents will arrive looking to complete the job that they could not do in the first leg, despite dominating for large stretches.
Having won their group with four wins and two draws, including a 2-1 home triumph over Slavia Prague, the Dutch outfit entered the knockout stage in the round of 16, and they cruised past Partizan, eventually earning an 8-3 aggregate victory.
Such a win saw Arne Slot’s side again meet the Czech outfit, and they took a lead through Luis Sinisterra, and, after their opponents came from behind, Marcos Senesi and Orkun Kokcu put De Stadionclub back in the ascendancy.
Having been pegged back again at the death, the Dutch outfit will make the trip with plenty of work to do to seal their progression, but they will be encouraged by their performance at the weekend, having overturned an early deficit to thrash Heracles 4-1 thanks to goals from Kokcu, Reiss Nelson, Guus Til and Patrik Walemark.
With that victory having strengthened their position in third place in the Eredivisie, De Stadionclub will look to pick up another continental win on their travels to further add to their impressive campaign with a place in the semi-finals of the Europa Conference League.