Comeback victory helps Spurs qualify

March 01, 2014 - 6:01:05 am

Tottenham Hotspur’s Emmanuel Adebayor celebrates after scoring his side’s third goal during their Europa League match against Dnipro at White Hart Lane in London on Thursday night.

PARIS: Tottenham Hotspur are through to the last 16 of the Europa League after a dramatic recovery saw them get the better of ten-man Dnipro at White Hart Lane on Thursday night.

After losing 1-0 in the first leg of the round of 32 tie in Ukraine last we+ek, Spurs looked to be heading out of the tournament when Roman Zozulya headed in a delivery from visiting captain Ruslan Rotan two minutes into the second half.

That left the Premier League club needing to score three unanswered goals to go through, but a Christian Eriksen free-kick reduced the deficit on 55 minutes before Zozulya was shown a straight red card by the French referee following a headbutt on Jan Vertonghen.

Spurs made the most of their man advantage as Emmanuel Adebayor struck twice in the space of four minutes to seal a 3-1 win on the night and go through 3-2 on aggregate.

Tim Sherwood’s side will now face last season’s beaten finalists Benfica, who saw off PAOK of Greece, and they will do so as the only Premier League side left in the tournament after Swansea City went down 3-1 to Napoli in Italy.

Following a goalless first leg, the Serie A side took the lead 17 minutes in at the San Paolo stadium when Lorenzo Insigne cutely lifted the ball over Michel Vorm in the away goal.

Jonathan De Guzman hit back for Swansea and for a long time it looked as if they would progress on away goals.

But Gonzalo Higuain took advantage of a lucky ricochet in the box to put the hosts back in front 12 minutes from time, and Gokhan Inler made sure of Napoli’s progress in stoppage time.

Napoli will now take on 2011 Europa League winners Porto, after the Portuguese club won a remarkable tie against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Following a 2-2 draw in last week’s first leg, Eintracht looked to be going through thanks to goals from Stefan Aigner and Alexander Meier either side of the interval.

A double from Porto’s France international defender Eliaquim Mangala silenced the crowd of close to 50,000 in the Commerzbank Arena, only for Meier to put the hosts back in front.

But Nabil Ghilas netted four minutes from time to make it 3-3 on the night and take Porto through on away goals, the result easing the pressure on coach Paulo Fonseca.

AFP

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