Mats Wieffer scored a second-half winner to hand Feyenoord a 1-0 home victory over AS Roma in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final – after he had given away a first-half penalty.
Wieffer struck a bouncing half-volley from outside the box in the 53rd minute for the game’s only goal and a narrow advantage for the Dutch league leaders ahead of the return leg in the Italian capital next week.
It turned the night into a triumph for the 23-year-old, capped last month for the first time by the Netherlands, after he had conceded a penalty before half-time for a tug on Roma striker Tammy Abraham.
Lorenzo Pellegrini hit the 43rd minute spot-kick against the post to waste an opportunity for a potentially vital goal in a tightly contested tie at the Feyenoord Stadium.
Wieffer’s goal was set up by an incisive run down the left by winger Oussama Idrissi, who dribbled into the box before laying the ball back.
Feyenoord skipper Orkun Kokcu and Lutsharel Geertruida both had good chances to add to the home side’s score, while Roma were denied an equaliser by the slimmest of margins nine minutes after conceding.
Defender Roger Ibanez’s header hit the underside of the bar but goal line technology ruled his effort had not completely crossed.
Roma suffered two serious injury setbacks after Paulo Dybala went off early, followed early in second half by Abraham who suffered a shoulder injury.
Last season, Jose Mourinho’s team beat Feyenoord 1-0 in the final of the inaugural Europa Conference League.
The second leg of this tie is next Thursday at Rome’s Olympic Stadium.
Gatti goal secures Juve win over Sporting
Juventus took a small step towards the last four of the Europa League as Federico Gatti’s goal in the second half secured the hosts a 1-0 victory over Portuguese side Sporting in the first leg of their quarter-final on Thursday.
Sporting dominated much of the match and had chances to score in the first half. Captain Sebastian Coates had a shot saved by Juve goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny before Gleison Bremer cleared a Nuno Santos effort off the line a few minutes later.
Juve’s injury woes were further exacerbated by the replacement of Szczesny shortly before the break. The Poland international seemed unwell and held his chest before walking off and being replaced by Mattia Perin.
Substitute Dusan Vlahovic helped turned things around for the hosts after 73 minutes with a header that was blocked on the line by Coates, with Gatti bundling the rebound in from close range.
Perin became the hero of the night after a superb double save in stoppage time, first stopping a tap-in before parrying the rebound away from danger.
The second leg is next Thursday at Estadio Jose Alvalade in Lisbon. The winner will face either Sevilla or Manchester United in the semi-final.
Leverkusen draw with Union
Elsewhere, Bayer Leverkusen‘s Florian Wirtz hit an 82nd-minute equaliser to rescue a 1-1 draw against visitors Union Saint-Gilloise of Belgium in their Europa League quarter-final first leg.
The 19-year-old Wirtz, in top form since his return this year following a months-long injury break, fired in to cancel out Union’s lead through Victor Boniface in the 51st.
The result left the tie open ahead of next week’s return leg in Belgium but snapped Leverkusen’s six-game winning run across all competitions.
Union, in their maiden Europa League campaign, struck six minutes after the restart with Boniface finding space on the left, cutting into the box and whipping a shot past keeper Lukas Hradecky for his sixth European goal in nine games this season.
Xabi Alonso’s Leverkusen were in control for much of the second half but missed a golden chance to level when Jeremie Frimpong’s header from four metres out sailed wide of the post in the 78th. Wirtz did it better five minutes later.
What happened in the Europa Conference League?
West Ham drew their first leg of their Europa Conference League quarter-final in Gent 1-1.
Danny Ings converted Jarrod Bowen’s cross on the stroke of half-time for his first European goal of his career.
But West Ham had to soak up Gent pressure in the second half and Hugo Cuypers’ thumping 56th-minute finish was the least the Belgian hosts deserved.
Anderlecht boosted their hopes of meeting the winners of that tie in the semi-final as Michael Murillo and Majeed Ashimeru scored in a 2-0 home victory over AZ Alkmaar.
In the same competition Terem Moffi struck twice for Nice in their 2-2 draw against Basel in Switzerland.
Zeki Amdouni put Basel ahead from the penalty spot after 26 minutes but Moffi gave Nice a half-time lead. Amdouni’s header 19 minutes from time levelled matters.
Fiorentina ran out comfortable 4-1 winners at Lech Poznan with Arthur Cabral, Nicolas Gonzalez, Giacomo Bonaventura and Jonathan Ikone on target, Kristoffer Velde replying for Poznan.