Both Galatasaray and Young Boys secured their spots in the Champions League group stage, with the former winning 2-1 against Molde. Young Boys beat Maccabi Haifa 3-0, ensuring their progress with a 5-3 and 3-0 aggregate.
In the Galatasaray and Molde match, defender Angelino’s free-kick was deflected into the net during stoppage time, sealing a 2-1 win for the former. The decisive goal came just after a potential equalising goal for Molde was disallowed following a video review.
Meanwhile, Young Boys advanced past Maccabi Haifa with a 3-0 triumph, following a goalless draw in their previous encounter in Israel. While Young Boys were challenged in the first half, they secured control and scored two goals within four minutes. Crosses from Congolese winger Meschack Elia led to goals by Cedric Itten and an own goal by Maccabi’s defender Abdoulaye Seck. The result was solidified early in the second half when Filip Ugrinic’s shot found the back of the net following a deflection.
Additionally, Braga secured its position in the group stage draw winning 1-0 against Panathinaikos, fora 3-1 aggregate score. Portugal international forward Bruma sealed Braga’s victory with a goal in the 83rd minute.
Galatasaray’s return to the Champions League group stage is a significant achievement for the team, as it marks their first appearance in the elite stage since 2019. The team had to navigate through three qualifying rounds to secure their spot.
In terms of individual performances, Mauro Icardi’s scoring streak continued as he netted his third consecutive goal, including one in the 3-2 victory against Molde in the previous week. His goal came from a converted penalty in the seventh minute.
As a result of their successful qualification, Galatasaray, Young Boys, and Braga are guaranteed prize money of around 20 million euros ($22 million) from UEFA, with the potential for additional bonuses based on their performance in the group stage.
On the other hand, Molde, Maccabi Haifa, and Panathinaikos will shift to the Europa League group stage, securing a guaranteed sum of at least 9 million euros ($9.7 million) from UEFA, along with potential bonuses tied to their future results.