• Europa League round-up

Stoke qualify with draw but beaten Fulham must wait

ESPN staff
December 1, 2011
Fulham were beaten at the death © PA Photos

Stoke City booked their place in the knockout stages of the Europa League with a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Dynamo Kiev at the Britannia Stadium.

Tony Pulis's side stay top of Group E after the draw, which was secured with Kenwyne Jones' 81st minute strike after Matthew Upson had gifted the Ukrainian side an early led after diverting the ball into his own net.

It was a classic game of two halves at the Britannia Stadium, with the visitors dominating the first period and deservedly taking the lead in the 28th minute when Oleksandr Aliyev's shot was turned into his own net by Matthew Upson.

But Stoke rallied after the break and finally found the equaliser nine minutes from time when Jones nodded in Jermaine Pennant's cross.

A draw with Besiktas in the final game will ensure they win the group, after the Turkish side edged a five-goal thriller to beat Maccabi Tel Aviv 3-2.

However, Fulham will have to wait to book their place in the knockout stages of the Europa League after they succumbed to a late 1-0 defeat against FC Twente in the Netherlands.

Twente, who had already qualified for the next stage, dominated proceedings for most of the 90 minutes, but had to wait until the very end before they were able to claim all three points, with substitute Marc Janko clinching the group's top spot after finishing from just six yards as the game entered the final minute of normal time.

Andrew Johnson compounded the blow for Martin Jol's side as he was sent off after picking up a second yellow for kicking the ball away deep into injury time, as the Cottagers now need to beat Odense in the final group game to be absolutely sure of their progress. They may also need to do so without the services of Moussa Dembele and Damien Duff, after both men limped off injured.

A draw or defeat, however, could open the door for Wisla Krakow - who beat Odense 2-1 away from home to sit just a point behind Fulham in the race for second.

Raul's second-half winner sent Schalke sailing through to the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League as winners of Group J after a hard-fought 2-1 win over Steaua Bucharest.

Raul converted a pass from Klaas Jan Huntelaar to secure victory but all is not yet lost for the Romanians with the runners-up spot blown wide open. Kiriakos Papadopoulos had earlier opened the scoring for the hosts before another Raul, Rusescu, equalised just six minutes later.

Second place is still to be fought over after managerless AEK Larnaca earned their first win of their Europa League campaign with a deserved 2-1 victory at home to Maccabi Haifa.

With Ton Caanen having been given his marching orders, AEK produced a response as Gonzalo Garcia and Gorka Pintado earned them the win despite Jurica Buljat's consolation. The result left AEK still bottom of Group J and Haifa still second behind Schalke, but all three sides still have a chance of joining the Germans in the next phase.

Dudu Biton and Patryck Malecki grabbed the two goals for the Polish side, with Falk Jensen's goal shortly after half-time just a consolation as the Danish side's hopes for the competition were extinguished.

Kenwyne Jones helped Stoke secure their progression © PA Photos

In the day's early kick-off, Lokomotiv Moscow progressed from the group stages and ended the hopes of Group L rivals Sturm Graz in a game where all the goals came inside the last half hour.

The Austrian side needed a win to maintain hopes of qualification - but goals from Maicon, Dmitri Sychev (penalty) and Dennis Glushakov meant Florian Kainz's reply meant little to the visitors.

Anderlecht put themselves in prime position to top the group with a 2-1 defeat of AEK Athens - Guillame Gillet scoring either side of Dimitris Sialmas's strike.

The Belgian side, currently three points clear, play Lokomotiv at home in the final group game to determine the group winner.

Red Bull Salzburg kept alive their Europa League chances with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Paris St Germain.

The Austrians needed victory to stop their hopes of progressing from Group F being extinguished while PSG just needed a point to guarantee their last-32 place.

And the result went Salzburg's way as they edged an entertaining clash courtesy of Jakob Jantscher's first-half strike and Dusan Svento's late volley, which actually took them above their opponents into second place in the group with a game to play.

Athletic Bilbao ensured they will finish top of the group with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Slovan Bratislava at San Mames.

The home side had already qualified for the last 32 of the competition, but still repeated their 2-1 win over their already-eliminated opponents in the reverse fixture. Goals from Oscar de Marcos and Markel Susaeta either side of an equaliser from Filip Sebo gave them all three points tonight in front of a 30,000-strong crowd.

FC Vaslui held Lazio to a 0-0 draw in their Europa League Group D match in Romania to remain firmly in contention for a place in the round of 32.

The result has left the two sides level on six points, with the Romanian side second in the standings ahead of the Italians on goal difference.

Goals from Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Valeri Bojinov enabled Sporting Lisbon to claim a 2-1 win, cement top spot in that group and end Zurich's interest in the competition.

Van Wolfswinkel netted the only goal of a one-sided first half, before Bojinov gave the scoreline a more realistic look with a second-half effort.

It means a fourth win in five games for the Portuguese side - and guaranteed top spot with one match to spare.

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