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 Out

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.

Manchester United, Manchester City and last season’s winner Porto are among the teams dropping down from the Champions League. The two-match series in the last 32 are scheduled Feb. 16 and 23.

TEAMS QUALIFYING FOR EUROPA LEAGUE ROUND OF 32
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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.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.

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