Ten-man Tottenham conceded a late goal and fell to a humbling 2-1 loss to lowly Slovenian team NS Mura in the Europa Conference League on Thursday, a result that puts the London club in danger of being eliminated from the third-tier competition.
Amadej Maroša scored for Mura four minutes into stoppage time in Maribor, finishing off a quick counterattack with a shot that was deflected and looped into the net. It was a big blow for new Tottenham manager Antonio Conte, whose team now risks elimination if Mura loses to Vitesse Arnhem in the last round.
In the Europa League, West Ham clinched top spot in Group H with a game to spare with a 2-0 victory at Rapid Vienna. Bayer Leverkusen also sealed a place in the round of 16 after coming back from 2-1 down to beat Celtic 3-2 in Group G.
Only the eight group winners go straight into the round of 16 — the runners-up enter playoffs with the eight teams who finish in third place in the Champions League groups.
A similar system operates for the third-place Europa League teams dropping down into the Europa Conference League.
EUROPA CONFERENCE LEAGUE
Mura had lost its first four group games but went ahead in the 11th minute when Tomi Horvat scored into the roof of the net. Tottenham, one of the big favorites to win the first edition of the competition, then had Ryan Sessegnon sent off in the 32nd with a second yellow card.
Harry Kane equalized from a narrow angle in the 72nd but Tottenham then needlessly gave Mura the chance to counter in the final seconds.
Rennes won Group G with 11 points after a 3-3 draw against Vitesse Arnhem, which is tied with Tottenham on seven.
Cyriel Dessers scored his second goal in stoppage time to secure a 2-2 draw for Feyenoord at Slavia Prague, which was enough for the Dutch side to clinch first place in Group E.
Copenhagen topped Group F after routing Gibraltar’s Lincoln Red Imps 4-0.
West Ham forward Andriy Yarmolenko headed in the opener in the 40th minute in Vienna and captain Mark Noble converted a spot kick in first-half injury time to put West Ham in control. West Ham tops Group H with 13 points, six ahead of Dinamo Zagreb.
Celtic was leading until Robert Andrich scored his second goal for Leverkusen in the 82nd minute, and Moussa Diaby hit a volley from the edge of the box past goalkeeper Joe Hart for the winner in the 87th off a cutback pass from young attacking midfielder Florian Wirtz.
Betis secured a playoff spot in the same Group G after beating Ferencvaros 2-0.
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Karel Janicek, The Associated Press