Berg bails out Groningen in Europa playoff

BREDA, Netherlands - Groningen striker Marcus Berg scored a hat-trick to earn his side a 3-3 draw at Utrecht in the first leg of their Dutch championship Europa League playoff semi-final on Saturday. Utrecht took the lead on three occasions through Tim Cornelisse, Leroy George and Morten Skoubo Utrecht but Swedish international Berg replied each time. NAC Breda made a promising start to their playoff campaign with a 3-2 win over Feyenoord. Rob Penders, Donny Gorter and Matthew Amoah were on target for Breda in the second half, while Roy Makaay and Jon Dahl Tomasson both converted penalties for Feyenoord. The play offs are the best of three and the second matches are scheduled for Thursday. The eventual winners will meet in a best-of-three final, starting on May 28.