A strange own goal from goalkeeper Sergio Padt saw Groningen’s chances of reaching the knockout stages demolished in a 1-0 defeat to Slovan Liberec.

gro lobGroningen kept their hopes alive two weeks ago when they earned a 1-1 draw in Liberec, but they knew they had to win on Thursday to have any chance of reaching the knock-out stage.

Edwin van de Looi’s side started the game well with Lorenzo Burnet firing a good chance wide on thirteen minutes before Danny Hoesen also narrowly missed the target. Before the break Sergio Padt rescued Groningen with a good stop from Marek Bakos, but the home side also went close again through Bryan Linssen.

In the early stages of the second half Groningen continued to dominate but Linssen saw a header kept out by goalkeeper Tomas Koubek, who then denied Kasper Larsen from the resulting corner.

However as the half went on Liberec started to take control and with ten minutes to go they struck the winner in bizarre circumstances. A corner was met by Zdenek Folprecht, and his header came back off the post only to hit Padt and deflect into the net.

The win sees Liberec move onto seven points, and with Braga on nine, Groningen can no longer catch up with the top two. With two games to go Groningen are out of the Europa League.

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