AC Milan qualified into the group stages of the Europa League following their dramatic 24-penalty shootout win away at Rio Ave. Milan returned to European football after finishing sixth in the Serie A last season and had to play the qualifying rounds before booking a ticket into the group phase. Stefano Pioli’s side were without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who tested positive for coronavirus took the lead through Alexis Saelemaekers five minutes after the restart. Tension as Chelsea could be handed tough Champions League oppositions (here’s why) AC Milan defeat Rio Ave 9-8 on penalties in Europa League. Photo Credit: Getty Images Source: Getty Images However, Chico Geraldes equalized for the Portuguese side in the 72nd minute as the match went into extra time. Gelson put Rio Ave ahead in the 91st minute but Milan were awarded a penalty and scored by Hakan Calhanogluin in the 122nd minute to level the score at 2-2 and went into penalties. Every player from each team participated in the shootout as both goalkeepers missed their respective spot-kicks.