Turkish club Trabzonspor beat Greek club AEK Athens 3-1 in first leg match of the UEFA Europa League playoffs on Thursday night.
In an away match in Athens at the OAKA Spyros Louis Stadium, Trabzonspor gained the advantage with a hat-trick by striker Caleb Ekuban to advance to the group stage before the second leg match at home.
Croatian forward Marko Livaja netted one goal for AEK to start off the match in the fourth minute.
Ekuban sealed Trabzonspor's victory with goals in the 28th, 44th and 70th minutes.
After eliminating Czech opponents Sparta Prague, Trabzonspor had qualified for the playoffs while the AEK had eliminated Romania's Universitatea Craiova to advance the playoff round.
The second leg will be played in Trabzon, northern Turkey on Aug. 29.
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