Tottenham Hotspur loses their UEFA Conference League opener to Pacos de Ferreira

Tottenham lost 1-0 to Pacos de Ferreira of Portugal

Tottenham lost 1-0 to Pacos de Ferreira of Portugal in the first leg of their Europa Conference League play-off on Thursday. Nuno Espirito Santo made 11 changes to the lineup that beat Manchester City in their Premier League opener last Saturday.

The Londoners, who were once again without England striker Harry Kane, put in a disorganised display. Three of Tottenham's summer additions, goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini, defender Cristian Romero, and winger Bryan Gil, all started the game. Nile John and Dane Scarlett, both teenagers, were given opportunities to shine as identical twins Michael and Matthew Craig sat on the sideline.

On the stroke of halftime, the home side's Lucas Silva scored the game's only goal. The 23-year-old Brazilian striker, who joined Tottenham from Flamengo last year, snuck in behind the Tottenham defence to score.

Nuno told the BBC, “The decision was to try to give minutes to players, to get minutes on their legs and increase the levels of fitness." 

Former Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho got off to a winning start with Roma in Turkey, as the Italian team defeated Trabzonspor 2-1. Mourinho's team featured three new acquisitions, one of whom, Eldor Shomurodov, scored the game-winning goal.

When Gianluca Mancini's header came back off the post with 10 minutes left, the Uzbek striker, who was bought from Genoa in the summer, was the first to respond. When Henrikh Mkhitaryan, another new arrival, sent in the key pass in the 55th minute, Lorenzo Pellegrini had given Roma the lead. Substitute Andreas Cornelius equalised for the Turks 10 minutes later, just moments after replacing Gervinho.

“This isn't a Conference League opponent; it felt like a Champions League play-off,” he said "Mourinho spoke to Sky Sport Italia about the situation.

“They have a lot of players with a lot of experience. There was a lot of strain, and anyone who believed this would be simple was misinformed."

In other matches, Colombian attacker Luis Sinisterra scored a hat-trick as Feyenoord of the Netherlands defeated Elfsborg of Sweden 5-0.

Santa Clara of Portugal, headquartered in the Azores, defeated Partizan Belgrade 2-1 in a tie featuring the most westerly team in a European top league. Olympiakos clinched a place in the Europa League group stage with a 3-0 home win over Slovan Bratislava in the play-offs.

The victory was secured by Mady Camara, Pape Abou Cisse, and an own goal by Vasil Bozhikov. Galatasaray drew 1-1 at Randers, who finished sixth in the Danish division previous season after losing in Champions League qualifying to PSV Eindhoven.

Antwerp had a difficult start to the season, losing 4-2 to Omonia Nicosia, the Cypriot champions. Rangers defeated Alashkert of Armenia 1-0 at Ibrox, despite playing the entire second half with ten men after John Lundstram was sent off.


 

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