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Valencia and Fiorentina progress

07 Nov 2013 22:47:29

Valencia and Fiorentina progress

European giants Valencia and Fiorentina left it late to seal their places in the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League with two games to spare on Thursday.

Late goals from Pablo Piatti and Sergio Canales helped the Spaniards come from behind to beat 10-man St Gallen 3-2 in Switzerland and guarantee progression from Group A.

Piatti had put Valencia ahead but Stephane Besle equalised and Goran Karanovic nudged St Gallen in front in the 66th minute despite Philippe Montandon's sending-off 10 minutes earlier.

Valencia also went top of their group after an injury-time equaliser from Ibrahima Balde gave Kuban Krasnodar a 1-1 draw with Swansea City in Russia, making the Welsh side - who led through a ninth minute Wilfried Bony strike - having to wait to qualify.

Fiorentina were trailing to Eric de Oliveira's early goal in their Group E clash with Pandurii Targu Jiu in Romania but two goals in the last four minutes from Ryder Matos and Borja Valero proved enough to seal a 2-1 win for the Italians.

Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk also booked their place in the knockout stages with a 2-0 win over Pacos de Ferreira in Ukraine.

Salzburg confirmed their qualification from Group C, the Austrian Bundesliga leaders stretching their 100 per cent record in the group to four games with a 3-1 win at Standard Liege.

Dusan Svento and Kevin Kampl scored late in first half and after Paul-Jose M'Poku pulled one back, Alan made sure with a third goal after 58 minutes for the Austrians.

Danish side Esbjerg also qualified with 1-0 win over Elfsborg, Mick van Buren scoring only goal of the game after 71 minutes.

Bulgarians Ludogorets lost their 100 per cent record and conceded their first goal in Group B, but their 1-1 home draw with Chornomorets was enough for them to qualify.

Second-placed PSV closed the gap at the top to three points with a 2-0 home win over Dinamo Zagreb, the goals coming in each half from Adam Maher and Ola Toivonen.

Rubin Kazan have all but done enough in Group D after Oleg Kuzmin's 22nd minute goal was enough to defeat Wigan in Russia.

Rubin now have a five point lead at the top of the group while Belgians Zulte-Waregem gave themselves hope of snatching second place with a 1-0 win over Maribor in Slovenia.

In Group F, leaders Eintracht Frankfurt suffered a surprise 4-2 defeat in Israel to Maccabi Tel Aviv, for whom Eran Zahavi and Barak Itzhaki both scored twice, while APOEL moved off the bottom with a 2-1 win over Bordeaux.


PA

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