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Europa League play-offs: Everton, AC Milan secure group stage spots in main event after impressive wins

Paris: Youngster Dominic Calvert-Lewin came off the bench to grab the goal that handed Everton a 1-0 win away to Slovakia's Ruzomberok on Thursday as they secured their progress to the Europa League play-off round.

Calvert-Lewin, who scored the winner for England in the under-20 World Cup final in June, replaced summer signing Sandro Ramirez in the second half and produced a cool finish with 10 minutes remaining.

That allowed Everton to win the third qualifying round tie 2-0 on aggregate, with progress all that matters for the Premier League side after two performances in which they struggled to convince against the third-placed side in Slovakia last season.

Everton secured their Europa Leauge place.

Everton secured their Europa Leauge place.

Among the headline winners on Thursday were AC Milan, the seven-time European champions beating Universitatea Craiova 2-0 at San Siro in their second leg to go through 3-0 on aggregate.

Giacomo Bonaventura and teenager Patrick Cutrone scored the hosts' goals against the Romanian visitors.

Athletic Bilbao, runners-up in 2012, beat Dinamo Bucharest 3-0, with Raul Garcia netting twice, to go through 4-1 on aggregate.

Zenit St Petersburg, Red Star Belgrade, Panathinaikos and Fenerbahce were among the other winners.

Marseille are also into the play-off round after following a 4-2 victory at home to Oostende last week with a 0-0 draw in Belgium in the return.

However, fellow French side Bordeaux were knocked out by the Hungarians of Videoton, the UEFA Cup runners-up of 1985.

Videoton's 1-0 win secured a 2-2 aggregate score as they went through on away goals.

PSV Eindhoven were also knocked out, the Dutch club losing 1-0 away to Osijek of Croatia to go out 2-0 on aggregate.

And Freiburg of the German Bundesliga took a 1-0 lead to Slovenia for their return against Domzale, only to lose 2-0 on the night and go out.

The draw for the play-offs takes place on Friday, with the losing sides from the Champions League third qualifying round also going into the hat.

Updated Date: Aug 04, 2017 19:45 PM

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