UEFA Europa League 2013: Late games recap

Martin Rose

Liverpool miracle comeback comes up one goal short, Chelsea are saved in stoppage time and two German side are knocked out. Steaua Bucuresti rallied to force extra time against Ajax while Napoli went down without a fight against Plzen.

The late Europa League games were certainly more interesting than the early games. Liverpool nearly completed a miracle comeback but came up one goal short against Zenit St. Petersburg. The German sides Bayer Leverkusen and Hannover 96 both had bad days and exited the tournament, while Chelsea got a winner in stoppage time thanks to Eden Hazard. Here's a recap of all the late game action.

Benfica 2-1 (3-1) Bayer Leverkusen

Ola John opened the scoring for Benfica in the 59th minute, dancing around defenders into the box on the left side before beating Bernd Leno with a superb shot into the upper corner. Bayer's Andre Schürrle scored in the 74th minute to give his side some hope, but Benfica hit right back two minutes later thanks to Nemanja Matic.

Bordeaux 1-0 (2-1) Dynamo Kiev

Cheick Diabate's goal in the 41st minute proved the difference for Bordeaux who will advance into the next round. Kiev certainly didn't go down with a fight managing 16 attempts but Bordeaux keeper Cedric Carrasso was up to the task making five saves and keeping the clean sheet on the day.

Chelsea 1-1 (2-1) Sparta Prague

Click the link for a full match report.

Fenerbahce 1-0 (1-0) BATE Borisov

Fenerbahce, playing behind closed doors as a punishment from UEFA, took advantage of a red card against Borisov's Dmitri Baga in the 20th minute and found the winner thanks to a penalty right before halftime. Two minutes into first half stoppage time Andrey Gorbunov fouled Moussa Sow, giving Fener a penalty that was converted by Baroni Cristian. Apparently, despite they're being no fans in the stadium, a flare still ended up in the pitch during second half stoppage time, delaying the finish of the match.

The match was played behind closed door have UEFA were charged with the throwing of missiles and/or fireworks by fans during December's Europa League home game against Borussia Monchengladbach.

Hannover 96 1-1 (2-4) Anzhi Makhachkala

Sergio Pinto gave Hannover some hope with a goal in the 70th minute but the home side couldn't find the second goal they needed to force extra time and fell on aggregate to Anzhi. Lacina Traore scored nine minutes into stoppage time to jazz up the final box score just a smidgen.

Liverpool 3-1 (3-3) Zenit St. Petersburg

Click the link for a full match report.

Olympiakos 0-1 (0-4) Levante

Olympiakos never threatened Levante who led 3-0 after the first leg. Obafemi Martins' goal in the eighth minute likely had a lot to do with it.

Steaua Bucuresti 2-0 (2-2) Ajax - Steaua advances 4-2 on penalties.

Ajax entered the match with a 2-goal lead but they couldn't hold on. Iasmin Latovlevici pulled Steaua within one in the 37th minute and Vlad Chiriches finished the comeback in the 75th minute, forcing the match to extra time (which is in progress at the moment). Neither team managed to do anything in the extra time and the match came down to penalties.

Steaua were perfect with their penalties but Ajax's Lasse Schöne had his attempt saved by Ciprian Tatarusanu and Niklas Moisander missed badly on his attempt as Steaua advanced to the next round.

Viktoria Plzen 2-0 (5-0) Napoli

Napoli didn't put up much of a fight in the first leg and not much changed in the second leg. Plzen's Jan Kovarik put the tie to bed for good four minutes in the second half, beating Morgan De Sanctis from close range. Stanislav Tecl scored in the 74th minute...essentially it was like adding a little more whipped cream to a really great sundae.

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