Lazio, Besiktas Advance in Europa League Soccer as PSG, Fulham Eliminated
Lazio and Besiktas were among five teams advancing to the round of 32 in soccer’s Europa League as Paris Saint-Germain was eliminated and Fulham got knocked out by a last-play goal.
Salzburg, Wisla Krakow and Steaua Bucharest also sealed spots in the knockout stage of Europe’s second-tier club competition last night. The top two teams from each of the 12 groups will be joined by the eight third-place finishers from the elite Champions League in tomorrow’s draw.
Lazio beat Sporting Lisbon 2-0 in Rome to finish second in Group D and Turkey’s Besiktas defeated 10-man Stoke 3-1 to win Group E. PSG won 4-2 at home against Group F winner Athletic Bilbao 4-2, though lost out to Salzburg on a tiebreaker.
Fulham blew a two-goal halftime lead in a 2-2 home draw with Odense, which got the tying goal in the final move of the game from Djiby Fall’s header. That enabled Wisla Krakow to take second place in Group K after beating FC Twente 2-1.
“It was the last cross of the match, so I’m very, very disappointed,” Fulham manager Martin Jol told Channel 5. “To give two goals away is very disappointing.”
Steaua’s 3-1 win over AEK Larnaca gave it the runner-up spot in Group J over Maccabi Haifa, which lost 3-0 to group winner Schalke.
Second-half goals from Manuel Fernandes, Mustafa Pektemek and Edu lifted Besiktas above Stoke, which had already qualified, atop Group E. The Premier League team played the last 32 minutes a man down after Matthew Upson was red-carded for taking down Hugo Almeida in the penalty area.
Libor Kozak and Giuseppe Sculli scored either side of the break against Sporting as Lazio overtook Vaslui, which lost 2-0 to Zurich, as the Group D runner-up.
PSG’s home win wasn’t enough to send the most expensively assembled team in French soccer history into the next round after Salzburg rallied from a two-goal deficit after just six minutes to beat Slovan Bratislava 3-2.
PSG, which has spent about 80 million euros ($104 million) on players since being bought by the Qatari Investment Authority in May, finished tied on 10 points in Group F with Salzburg, which advanced on away goals in the two matches between the teams, the fourth tiebreaker.
“It’s a big disappointment,” PSG coach Antoine Kombouare said in comments on his team’s website. “We should have got through this group.”
Anderlecht defeated Lokomotiv Moscow 5-3 to win Group L in a matchup of qualified teams and AEK Athens beat Sturm Graz 3-1. Dynamo Kiev and Maccabi Tel-Aviv drew 3-3.
The remaining four places in the knockout stage will be determined in tonight’s final round of group matches.
TEAMS QUALIFYING FOR EUROPA LEAGUE ROUND OF 32 ---------------------------------------------- Ajax*, Anderlecht, Atletico Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Besiktas, Bruges, FC Twente, Hannover, Lazio, Legia Warsaw, Lokomotiv Moscow, Manchester City*, Manchester United*, Metalist Kharkiv, Olympiacos*, PAOK, Porto*, PSV Eindhoven, Red Bull Salzburg, Schalke, Sporting Lisbon, Standard Liege, Steaua Bucharest, Stoke, Trabzonspor*, Valencia*, Viktoria Plzen*, Wisla Krakow. * Third-place finisher in Champions League group.