Soccer: Spurs squeak into Europa last-16

A 90th-minute strike by Mousa Dembele yesterday took Tottenham Hotspur through to the last 16 of the Europa League at Lyon's expense, as the second leg of their tie ended 1-1 at the Stade de Gerland.

Just like last week, the English club netted at the death to douse the hopes of their French opponents, as Spurs followed up their 2-1 win a week ago to advance 3-2 on aggregate.

Gareth Bale's brilliant stoppage-time free-kick had earned Tottenham victory in the first leg and, in Lyon, Dembele delivered a decisive blow in the final minute, stepping away from Clement Grenier and firing across Remy Vercoutre and into the far corner with a vicious left-footed strike.

Lyon, who had led for much of the game through Maxime Gonalons' headed opener, were left deflated, as Spurs march on to a last-16 tie against Inter Milan.

The North London side probably deserved to progress, but were also fortunate when German referee Wolfgang Stark waved away strong Lyon claims for a penalty in the second half when Brad Friedel appeared to bring down Alexandre Lacazette inside the area.

Joining Spurs in the next round were fellow English travellers Newcastle, who thanked Shola Ameobi's third European goal of the season for a 1-0 win at Metalist Kharkiv, the Ukrainians who held the Magpies to a goalless stalemate last week.

Newcastle were under the cosh for much of the match and Dutch keeper Tim Krul made several top-drawer saves, before Ameobi struck on 64 minutes for a crucial away goal.

And despite late pressure from the Ukrainians - Brazilian striker Willian hitting the post - Newcastle, whose last trophy came in the old Fairs Cup - predecessor of the defunct UEFA Cup, back in 1969 - held on to advance as Kharkiv suffered only their second defeat in 12 outings at the Metalist Stadium.

Also on Wednesday, Russia's Rubin Kazan put out holders Atletico Madrid 2-1 on aggregate despite Falcao giving the Spaniards the win by the only goal on the night.

Inter, European Cup winners in 2010, went through after a 3-0 romp at 10-man Romanians Cluj for a 5-0 aggregate success.

Colombian star Fredy Guarin scored a brace for Inter with Marco Benassi adding the third.

Elsewhere in early action, Germany's Stuttgart won 2-0 at Belgium's Genk for a 3-1 aggregate win, while Italy's Lazio defeated German rivals Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-0 with Antonio Andreva and Alvaro Gonzalez the scorers in the first half as the Romans progressed 5-3 overall.

FC Basel of Switzerland went through 3-1 on aggregate after a 1-1 draw with Ukrainian outfit Dnipro.

- AAP

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