Lukaku earns Roma draw at Feyenoord in UEL playoff first leg

Striker Romelu Lukaku showed his strength to force home the equaliser as AS Roma held Feyenoord to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Europa League playoff tie on Thursday.

Igor Paixao's header on the stroke of halftime gave the Dutch club the lead but they will now be up against it in next week's second leg in Rome as they continue a growing rivalry with the Italian side.

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Galatasaray and Sporting Lisbon were winners in two of the other four early kickoffs in the first knockout round of the competition.

Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk twice came from behind to draw 2-2 against Marseille as they clashed in neutral Germany.

Lukaku stooped low to get a touch off the shoulder and turn in Leonardo Spinazzola's cross for a 67th-minute equaliser after Paixao, among the shortest players on the pitch, climbed in between the Roma defence to expertly head home Quilindschy Hartman's cross and put Feyenoord ahead at the break.

It was the third time in as many seasons Feyenoord were taking on Roma, who beat them 1-0 in the first Europa Conference League final in Tirana in 2022 and 4-2 on aggregate in the Europa League quarter-finals last year.

Roma celebrate Romelu Lukaku's goal against Feyenoord.
Luciano Rossi/AS Roma via Getty Images

Galatasaray scored a late winner through Mauro Icardi to secure a 3-2 victory over Sparta Prague in Istanbul.

The Turkish giants took an early lead when Kerem Demirbay netted a low drive in the 19th minute, but Sparta equalised two minutes into the second half as Angelo Precaido took advantage of a poor clearance to slam the ball home.

Dries Mertens benefited from a wicked defection off Sparta captain Ladislav Krejci to restore Galatasaray's lead in the 61st minute just before their defender Victor Nelsson was sent off.

Sparta took advantage of the numerical superiority and levelled within four minutes when Jan Kuchta headed in Precaido's cross.

Icardi, however, ensured a dramatic win for the hosts and a slender lead to take into next week's return in the Czech capital.

Young Boys Berne defender Aurele Amenda turned the ball into his own net to hand visitors Sporting the lead on the half hour mark and 10 minutes later Viktor Gyokeres converted a penalty.

The Swiss hosts pulled one back immediately through Filip Ugrinic but were 3-1 down three minutes into second half as Goncalo Inacio extended Sporting's lead.

Ukraine's Shakhtar hosted Marseille in Hamburg and went behind when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck home a half volley in the 64th minute but they equalised four minutes later as Mykola Matviyenko powered in a shot after it ricocheted off the Marseille wall from a free kick.

Marseille thought they had won when Iliman Ndiaye scored in the 90th minute but the Ukrainians levelled again three minutes later as Eguinaldo arrived late in the box to finish off Oleksandr Zubkov's cross.