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Super Eagles winger Samuel Chukwueze made a significant impact as a substitute, scoring to aid AC Milan in securing a UEFA Europa League spot with a 2-1 triumph over Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Wednesday.

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Chukwueze, recently acquired from Villarreal, has faced challenges in earning regular playing time with the Italian Serie A club. Despite his crucial goal, it wasn’t sufficient to propel AC Milan into the knockout stage.

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Group F witnessed intense drama as three teams vied for the second group ticket, following Dortmund’s earlier qualification. Newcastle seemed poised for the round of 16 at one point during the suspenseful Group F finale, with Joelinton’s powerful first-half strike and Paris St. Germain trailing in Germany to Borussia Dortmund.

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In the second half, Milan, seven-time winners, outperformed Newcastle, which appeared to run out of steam. Christian Pulisic leveled the score for the Serie A team in the 60th minute with an assist from Olivier Giroud.

In a bid for victory, both teams had near misses, with Rafael Leao hitting the post for Milan and Newcastle’s Bruno Guimaraes testing Milan keeper Mike Maignan. Chukwueze added to the excitement, securing Milan’s win with a superb counterattack.

Despite the victory, Milan settles for a Europa League spot by finishing third, while Newcastle exits European competition after finishing last, courtesy of PSG’s dramatic 1-1 draw with group winners Dortmund.

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