Ghanaian defender Tariq Lamptey made his long-awaited debut appearance for Brighton and Hove Albion in the UEFA Europa League clash against AEK Athens on Thursday night.
Brighton’s much-anticipated European debut didn’t go as planned, with Greek giants AEK Athens securing a 3-2 victory in the Europa League group stage.
Despite the absence of Lewis Dunk due to injury, Brighton managed to level the score twice in the first half, with goals from Djibril Sidibe and Mijat Gacinovic. However, they couldn’t find an answer when substitute Ezequiel Ponce scored AEK Athens’ third goal in the 84th minute.
Tariq Lamptey played a part in the third goal, slipping as AEK launched a rapid counter-attack, allowing Niclas Eliasson to deliver a cross that Ponce converted into a goal.
Notably, the match featured two penalty decisions awarded by the video assistant referee (VAR) after Joao Pedro went down on two separate occasions, resulting in penalties for Brighton. The £30 million record signing calmly converted both penalties, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way each time.
Lamptey, who had previously registered two assists in the English Premier League, came on as a substitute in the 55th minute, replacing James Milner. His introduction into the game came after his impressive performance in Brighton’s recent away win over Manchester United at Old Trafford.