Atletico among 13 teams through in Europa League

Updated 24 November 2012
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Atletico among 13 teams through in Europa League

LONDON: Lazio, Napoli and reigning champion Atletico Madrid were among the 13 teams to qualify for the knockout stage of the Europa League on Thursday night.
However, there was a setback for another of the competition’s big names as Liverpool was held to a frustrating 2-2 draw at home to Young Boys, leaving the English side’s hopes of progressing to the last 32 in the balance.
Liverpool, a five-time European champion, will be eyeing one of the remaining five qualifying spots in the final round of games in two weeks’ time but others can take it easy.
Raul Garcia’s early goal earned Atletico a 1-0 victory over Hapoel Tel Aviv, allowing the Spanish side to progress to the last 32 from Group B with Viktoria Plzen.
A goalless draw at home to Tottenham was enough to put Lazio through in Group J, on a day fans of the Italian club were suspected of involvement in a hooligan attack in Rome that led to seven Spurs fans being hospitalized.
Napoli won 2-1 at AIK Stockholm to seal a top-two spot in Group F with Dnipro, which beat PSV Eindhoven away by the same scoreline to eliminate the Dutch hosts.
Wealthy Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala went through with a 2-0 home win over Udinese, courtesy of goals from Christopher Samba and Samuel Eto’o, in the group containing Liverpool.
The other clubs booking their last-32 spots on Thursday were Newcastle, Bordeaux, Fenerbahce, Borussia Moenchengladbach, Genk, Sparta Prague and Levante.
Athletic Bilbao, last season’s finalist, was knocked out without even playing following the cancelation of its match against Hapoel Kiryat Shmona because of the fighting in Israel. Sparta knocked out Bilbao by drawing 1-1 at already-qualified Lyon in Group I.
The top two teams in each of the 12 groups go through, where they will be joined by the eight third-place finishers in the Champions League groups.
Liverpool was denied a spot in the knockout stage by two superbly taken second-half goals by Young Boys, with Raul Bobadilla scoring the Swiss team’s first goal with an angled volley and Elsad Zverotic clinching a draw in the 88th by smashing home left-footed from the edge of the box.
Joe Cole, the former England winger and forgotten man at Liverpool, made his mark in a rare appearance by setting up the opener for Jonjo Shelvey in the 33rd and then scoring himself in the 72nd.
“Conceding a late goal is disappointing,” Cole said. “It was just game management at the end, to see the game out, which let us down.
“It was a great finish from the kid at the end, but we made it hard for ourselves. It’s a lesson learned.” Liverpool plays Udinese away in its last match and will need a win to be certain of qualifying.
Paul Gascoigne, England’s star in the 1990 World Cup, was given a hero’s welcome by Lazio fans as he was made guest of honor for the match between two of his former clubs.
A huge banner with a picture of “Gazza” and another with the words “Lionhearted, headstrong, pure talent, real man. Still our hero” were held aloft as the former midfielder walked around the pitch, taking in the acclaim of the fans.
The match was disappointing, having already been overshadowed by events away from the Olympic Stadium where some 50 masked hooligans wielding cobblestones, metal bars and knives attacked the Tottenham fans drinking early Thursday. At least one person was stabbed.
“It is an extremely difficult moment for them,” Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas said in reference to the club’s fans. Tottenham is second in the group and will qualify if it avoids defeat by Panathinaikos at home on Dec. 6.
A penalty three minutes into stoppage time by Edinson Cavani confirmed Napoli’s progress, and ensured the Uruguay forward became the final scorer at AIK’s Rasundastadion home, Sweden’s former national arena.
Inter Milan, Lyon, Rubin Kazan, Bayer Leverkusen, Metalist Kharkiv and Hannover advanced a fortnight ago.


“Captain fantastic” Harry Kane to the rescue as England beat Tunisia at the death

Updated 18 June 2018
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“Captain fantastic” Harry Kane to the rescue as England beat Tunisia at the death

  • Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic injury-time winner
  • England had started brightly in a blur of passing and movement and could have been two goals up inside the first four minutes

VOLGOGRAD, Russia: Captain Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic injury-time winner, as England began their World Cup Group G campaign with a stuttering 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday.
Gareth Southgate’s men almost paid a heavy price for missing a slew of first-half chances when Tunisia’s Ferjani Sassi slotted home a softly-awarded penalty 20 minutes before half-time.
And the north Africans were still level as the game went past the 90-minute mark.
But Harry Maguire won a header from a corner and Kane was on hand at the far post to nod in the winner before being mobbed by his ecstatic teammates.
“I’m so proud of the lads,” Kane said. “They kept going, kept going to the last second.
“I am absolutely buzzing, everyone on the staff is. It shows good character to get the job done.”
England had started brightly in a blur of passing and movement and could have been two goals up inside the first four minutes.
First Jordan Henderson’s lofted first-time pass released Dele Alli and when the ball eventually broke to Jesse Lingard he saw his shot from six yards saved by the outstretched left boot of Mouez Hassen in the Tunisia goal.
Kane had been kept quiet in the opening salvos but he exploded into action in the 11th minute when he cut inside from the left and saw his shot from the edge of the box deflected wide for a corner.
Ashley Young delivered the set piece for John Stones to rise highest and meet with a powerful header. Hassen saved acrobatically but Kane was on hand to tap home the rebound with his right foot and open his World Cup account.
Hassen, who had injured his left shoulder making an earlier save, could not continue and left the field in tears as he was replaced in goal by Farouk Ben Mustapha.
England continued to press and were made to pay for not converting a succession of chances when they conceded a soft penalty.
Kyle Walker swung a lazy arm across Fakhreddine Ben Youssef who fell as if poleaxed and Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan pointed to the spot, with his decision being upheld by the VAR.
Ferjani Sassi took one step and fired home confidently past the hitherto unemployed Jordan Pickford and Tunisia who had been outplayed for the first half-hour were somehow level 10 minutes before half-time.
Still there was time for Lingard to come close again twice, first from a goalbound shot and then a dink over the keeper which agonizingly struck the post.
Alli too hit the woodwork with a header and England went into half-time wondering how they had not sealed victory already.
England still enjoyed the lion’s share of possession but could not find the same zip and penetration they had enjoyed at the start of the first half.
The ineffective Sterling gave way to Marcus Rashford with just over 20 minutes to go and the Manchester United man almost fashioned a chance straight away with a jinking run into the box.