Udinese, Rubin Kazan Advance In Europa LeagueGeneva, Dec 16: Udinese and Rubin Kazan earned the draws they needed to advance to the Europa League knockout stage on Thursday, as Tottenham was eliminated despite beating Shamrock Rovers 4-0.Needing to avoid defeat at
Geneva, Dec 16: Udinese and Rubin Kazan earned the draws they needed to advance to the Europa League knockout stage on Thursday, as Tottenham was eliminated despite beating Shamrock Rovers 4-0.
Needing to avoid defeat at home against Celtic, Udinese drew 1-1 after talismanic striker Antonio Di Natale leveled the score in first-half stoppage time. The Scottish club had led through Gary Hooper's 29th-minute goal.
Udinese go into Friday's last-32 draw with group winner Atletico Madrid which had already qualified before beating Rennes 3-1.
Rubin got its point by overcoming the early dismissal of goalkeeper Sergei Ryzhikov to draw 1-1 away to PAOK.
The Russians thereby eliminated Tottenham, who needed to overturn a deficit of three points and five goals at the start of play.
Bruges drew 1-1 with 10-man Braga as both progressed from Group H, edging out Birmingham which beat Maribor 1-0.
AZ Alkmaar also advanced thanks to a 1-1 draw. The Dutch side earned its point at home to Group G winner Metalist Kharkiv, and progressed ahead of Austria Vienna which beat last-place Malmo 2-0.
Udinese and Celtic both chased a victory that would ensure progress amid heightening tension in the final 20 minutes.
Udinese midfielder Kwadwoh Asamoah somehow missed from three yards (meters) in the 72nd minute, and Di Natale was denied by Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster's excellent back-to-back saves.
Celtic struck a post in the 75th, and Ch Du-Ri's shot rebounded, ricocheted off Samir Handanovic's back and was spinning toward goal when the keeper reached out to grab the ball.
Atletico cruised to victory against Rennes after Radamel Falcao's penalty opened the scoring in the 38th. Alvaro Dominguez scored four minutes later and Arda Turan struck in the 79th.
Tottenham looked well set to advance when leading 3-0 in Dublin while Rubin trailed 1-0 at Group A leader PAOK.
The Russians also had Ryzhikov sent off for conceding a 16th-minute penalty scored by PAOK winger Vieirinha.
But Rubin leveled in the 48th through Paraguay forward Nelson Valdez and held on to draw 1-1.
That result made it academic when Harry Kane scored Tottenham's fourth in stoppage-time, adding to first-half goals from Steven Pienaar, Andros Townsend and Jermain Defoe.
Tottenham reached the Champions League quarterfinals last season, but paid the price for fielding under-strength teams in Europe's second-tier competition.
“We haven't not gone through for lack of trying,” Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said. “It was disappointing. I want to win every game.”
Redknapp also drew attention for apparently directing a gesture toward Shamrock fans who had targeted him with taunting chants for much of the match.
Redknapp denied making an obscene gesture, adding that opposing fans “get together and shout a load of nonsense and that is football. That's life. I don't hold any grudges.”
Standard Liege and Hannover go into Friday's draw from Group B, and PSV Eindhoven and Legia Warsaw had already progressed from Group C.
Liege got a 1-0 win at FC Copenhagen through Michy Batshuayi's 31st-minute goal, while Hannover won 3-1 against Vorskla Poltava after goals from Konstantin Rauch, Didier Konan Ya and Artur Sobiech.
PSV beat Rapid Bucharest 2-1 at home, and Legia lost 2-0 away to Hapoel Tel-Aviv.