SK Slovan Bratislava Faces Transfer Ban: FIFA’s Conditional Ultimatum


David Hancko couldn’t celebrate advancement as his Feyenoord Rotterdam fell to AS Roma in a nerve-wracking penalty shootout, with the Slovak defender unable to convert.

Joining Sparta Prague and AS Roma in the round of 16 are AC Milan, SL Benfica, Sporting Lisbon, SC Freiburg, Karabakh Agdam, and Olympique Marseille. Sparta carried a narrow 3-2 defeat from Istanbul and sought to level the playing field at home. They wasted no time, as Kairinen set up Preciado to lob the goalkeeper in the eighth minute. However, Galatasaray swiftly responded by equalizing through Bardakci’s header just eight minutes later.

Haraslín took center stage in the 68th minute when he received the ball on the left flank and attempted to bypass Ayhan.

Ayhan committed a foul that initially earned him a yellow card from referee Taylor. However, VAR intervention led to a change to a red card, reducing Galatasaray to ten men. Minutes later, Sparta seized the advantage when Zeleny delivered a precise cross into the box, met by Tuci’s header into the left corner, making it 2-1.

The Slovakian star’s defining moment came in the 80th minute when Tuci released him on a breakaway, and Haraslín slotted the ball beneath Muslera’s left hand to extend Sparta’s lead to 3-1. His goal was later confirmed by VAR. Haraslín was substituted in the 87th minute and watched from the sidelines as his teammates scored a fourth goal in stoppage time after a two-on-one break.

Early Drama at Stadio Olimpico AS Roma vs. Feyenoord Clash

Within five minutes, the atmosphere at Stadio Olimpico turned somber as Feyenoord stunned the home crowd. A pass from the left flank led to Nieuwkoop’s attempt to strike the ball, which deflected off his teammate Gimenez’s shoulder, catching the goalkeeper off guard. Despite protests from the home players, VAR confirmed the goal.

In the 13th minute, Wieffer squandered a golden opportunity, managing only to strike the ball into the goalkeeper’s hands under pressure from defenders. Two minutes later, what could have been a 2-0 lead for the visitors turned into an equalizer as Pellegrini found space on the edge of the box, slotting a precise shot into the right post.

A tactical battle ensued in the following minutes, persisting into the second half. Spectators witnessed only two shots, one from each side, none of which troubled the goalkeepers. The onset of extra time injected fresh energy into the game, with the visitors displaying signs of resurgence. However, in the dying moments, Lukaku had an opportunity to secure victory, only to be denied by goalkeeper Wellenreuther.

Ultimately, the match was decided by a penalty shootout. Despite missed attempts from Hancko and Jahanbakhsh for the visitors, AS Roma emerged victorious with Lukaku scoring the decisive penalty, securing a 4-2 win.

The Recap

AC Milan traveled to Rennes with a comfortable 3-0 lead from their home leg. Despite conceding early goals by Bourigeaud in both halves, they quickly equalized each time. Rennes midfielder completed his hat-trick with a second penalty conversion in the 68th minute, but his efforts fell short in salvaging his team’s hopes. Meanwhile, Benfica maintained their 2-1 advantage from the first leg against Toulouse, securing progression with a goalless draw.

In the clash at Lens, Freiburg dominated proceedings in both halves but struggled with their finishing. Conversely, Lens displayed clinical efficiency, capitalizing on two opportunities in the first half through da Costa and Wahi.

Freiburg staged a comeback in the second half, with two goals from Hungarian forward Sallai forcing the game into extra time. Eventually, Gregoritsch’s strike in the 99th minute sealed the victory for the home side.

Karabakh, following their surprising 4-2 victory in Portugal, maintained their momentum at home. However, a red card for Cafarquliyev in the 57th minute shifted the momentum. Fernandes put the visitors ahead thirteen minutes later.

Although Ruiz’s goal was disallowed for handball, Djalov’s 83rd-minute strike leveled the score. In extra time, Silva restored Karabakh’s lead, but Banza’s penalty brought parity once more. However, in the second period of extra time, substitute Achundzade secured a historic victory for the Azerbaijani club, propelling them to the round of 16 for the first time in their European competition history after two unsuccessful attempts in the playoffs.

On The Blog

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