Pritchard's Europa Joy

Friday 23 August 2013 09:30

Josh Pritchard was the hero for Tromso on Thursday evening as he scored a crucial winner against Besiktas in their UEFA Europa League Play-Off in Norway.

Portugal striker Hugo Almeida had given the visitors the lead within nine minutes, but Besiktas failed to build on their advantage despite dominating the first half.

It meant Tromso were still firmly in the tie and they levelled matters up shortly after the interval when former Rangers midfielder Thomas Kind Bendiksen emphatically planted a penalty into the top left hand corner.

Pritchard - who is on loan from Fulham until the end of December - then took centre stage in the 68th minute when he capitalised on an error in the Turkish side’s defence. The experienced Julien Escudé – who has 13 caps for France – was caught in possession on the edge of the centre circle by the midfielder, who dashed towards goal with the ball before calmly slotting a finish beyond Turkey international goalkeeper Tolga Zengin.

Tromso take their slender advantage to Istanbul on Thursday of next week for the Second Leg.