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Brighton seal historic Europa League last-16 spot

Joao Pedro's late goal earned Brighton & Hove Albion a dramatic 1-0 win over Marseille on Thursday to secure the hosts top spot in Europa League Group B.

Both sides went into the final matchday of the group stage assured of a place in the next round, but Brighton needed all three points to progress to the round of 16 as leaders.

Marseille will go into the playoff rounds after finishing two points behind Brighton with 11. This year was the first time Brighton has ever played in any European competition in their 122-year history.

Pedro scored two minutes from time from a Pascal Gross pass with a superb shot into the top left corner to send the home crowd into raptures. The Brazilian reached six goals in six games in the tournament.

Marseille had come close to taking the lead with two shots hitting the woodwork early in each half.

In the other group fixture, Ajax won 3-1 at AEK Athens to finish third and go into the Europa Conference League knockout playoffs.

The draw for the knockout round playoff games, featuring the eight runners-up from the Europa League groups and the eight third-placed teams from the Champions League group stage, will be made on Monday.

    

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