RSC Anderlecht advance in Europa Conference League to face Villarreal

RSC Anderlecht advance in Europa Conference League to face Villarreal
Credit: Virginie Lefour/Belga.

RSC Anderlecht booked their place in the Europa Conference League's round of 16 by beating Bulgarian champions Ludogorets on Thursday. The Brussels side is now set to face Spanish club Villarreal, who were last year's Champions League semi-finalists.

Having lost 1-0 in the away leg, Anderlecht knew they had to win at home to continue their European adventure. By the 68th minute, the Belgian club seemed to have fulfilled their mission by leading 2-0, one foot into the round of 16. 

However, three minutes later, Ludogorets scored to make it 2-2 on aggregate. Extra time followed with no winning goal in sight for either side, with a penalty shoot-out the only obstacle separating both teams.

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Carried by their home supporters, Anderlecht's players were imperious in the shoot-out, scoring three and conceding none, with wonder kid Yari Verschaeren sealing the victory for the side from Brussels.

Anderlecht now faces Spanish side Villarreal in the competition's round of 16, with the first leg set for 9 March in Brussels and the return leg to be played in Spain.

Another Belgian club also in the competition, Gent, who beat Azerbaijani team Qarabag to set up a round of 16 tie with İstanbul Başakşehir.

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