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Soucek's Late Goal Secures West Ham's Top-Two Finish

 Soucek's Late Goal Secures West Ham's Top-Two Finish

Tomas Soucek of West Ham United
Tomas Soucek of West Ham United in action during the UEFA Europa League match between FK TSC Backa Topola and West Ham United FC on November 30, 2023 in Backa Topola, Serbia(Image-Getty) 

Tomas Soucek's late goal secured a 1-0 victory for West Ham United over Backa Topola in Serbia, clinching a top-two finish in Europa League Group A. Soucek's precise volley with his outstretched right leg came in the 89th minute, breaking the deadlock in a game dominated by defences. The win places West Ham at the top of the standings with 12 points, level with Freiburg, whom they will host in the final round on December 14.

In Group B, Joao Pedro's second-half penalty propelled Brighton & Hove Albion to a 1-0 victory over 10-man AEK Athens, securing a top-two spot. Brighton could confirm their place in the round of 16 if Olympique de Marseille fails to beat Ajax Amsterdam. Sparta Prague secured a 1-0 win over Real Betis in Group C, with Lukas Haraslin scoring in the second half. The top two spots in the group will be decided based on the result of the Rangers vs. Aris Limassol match.

Atalanta secured top spot in Group D with 11 points after a 1-1 draw against Sporting Lisbon, who remain second with eight points. Stade Rennais moved to the top of Group F with a 2-0 win over Maccabi Haifa. Villarreal, currently second in the group, can confirm their place in the last 16 with a win against Panathinaikos.

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