Olympiacos has strengthened their push for an historic semi-finals berth in the UEFA Europa Conference League (UECL) after earning a crucial win against Fenerbahce.

The Piraeus giants defeated the Turkish outfit 3-2 at “Georgios Karaiskakis” Stadium on Friday morning (AEST) in the first leg of the UECL quarter-finals, giving them an advantage as they strive to reach the semi-finals in a European tournament for the first time in their club’s history.

The “red-whites” gained the lead early into the game after a poor pass from Fenerbahce’s defence went to playmaker Kostas Fortounis, who then struck the ball from distance into the bottom left corner (8′).

Fortounis then turned provider as he found Stefan Jovetic in the box, with the striker squeezing his shot under goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic to make it two (32′).

Olympiacos managed to grab a third after again successfully pressing the Turkish side’s backline as midfielder Chiquinho converted the subsequent chance into the bottom left (57′).

Fenerbahce got themselves back into the tie with two goals in quick succession, first through forward Dusan Tadic’s penalty into the bottom right (68′) and then from winger Irfan Kahveci’s finish into the bottom left (74′).

Olympiacos will be kicking themselves that they allowed their three-goal advantage to fall to just one, though they will certainly now have great confidence in their chances of advancing to the final four of the tournament.

PAOK suffered a 0-1 away loss to Club Brugge in their first leg of the UECL quarter-finals, with a late penalty save from goalkeeper Dominik Kotarski ensuring they remain in the tie.

The Belgian side found what proved to be the winning goal early into the contest after some excellent teamwork and passing saw them advance into the box, with midfielder Hugo Vetlesen finishing the ball into the bottom right (6′).

Brugge had a golden chance to grab a second when Kotarski gave away a penalty, though the Croatian managed to keep striker Igor Thiago’s effort down the middle out with his feet (78′).

The save could be the key moment that changes the tie in PAOK’s favour, with the Thessaloniki side now needing to win the second leg at “Toumba” next week to advance to the semi-finals of the competition.