Sevilla, Fiorentina, Dnipro, Napoli make Europa semis

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY NESHA STARCEVIC

Sub­sti­tute Kevin Gameiro scored late to give ti­tle­holder Sevilla a 2-2 draw at Zenit St. Peters­burg for a place in the Europa League semi­fi­nals on Thurs­day.

Napoli ad­vanced by eas­ing past Wolfs­burg 6-3 on ag­gre­gate af­ter a 2-2 draw at home; Fiorentina beat 10-man Dy­namo Kiev 2-0 to ad­vance; and Dnipro Dnipropetro­vsk ended Brugge’s 15-match un­beaten run with a 1-0 win that was enough for the Ukrainian team to make its first semi­fi­nal in the com­pe­ti­tion.

Brugge was the only un­beaten side left in the com­pe­ti­tion, with 11 wins and four draws since en­ter­ing the com­pe­ti­tion in the third qual­i­fy­ing round. The Bel­gian team set a com­pe­ti­tion record by go­ing 11 games un­beaten from the start of the group stage.

But sub­sti­tute Yevhen Shakhov cut in­side and scored with a de­flected shot in the 82nd minute to end Brugge’s hopes fol­low­ing a 0-0 draw in Bel­gium. The draw for the semi­fi­nals is on Fri­day. In St. Peters­burg, Car­los Bacca con­verted a sixth-minute penalty for Sevilla, af­ter Luis Neto brought down Vi­tolo.

Danny hit Sevilla’s post be­fore the Rus­sian side equal­ized in the 48th. Goal­keeper Beto fum­bled a cross from Oleg Sha­tov, and Jose Ron­don tapped the ball home from close range.

Zenit stepped up the pres­sure and dom­i­nated un­til Hulk fired a spec­tac­u­lar 40-me­ter(-yard) shot as Beto stood off the line, with the ball hit­ting the un­der­side of the cross­bar and bounc­ing over the line. That lev­eled the tie 3-3 on ag­gre­gate.

Zenit looked closer to over­all victory but, in the 85th, Vi­tolo used a quick coun­ter­at­tack to pass to Gameiro, who slot­ted into the far cor­ner from just in­side the penalty area.

In Florence, Mario Gomez scored in the first half and sub­sti­tute Juan Manuel Var­gas sealed Fiorentina’s win deep into stop­page time. The Ital­ian team pro­gressed 3-1 on ag­gre­gate as Kiev’s Jere­main Lens was sent off in the 40th for a sec­ond yel­low card for div­ing. Gomez knocked in the first goal three min­utes later.

Napoli, al­ready hold­ing a 4-1 lead from the away leg in Wolfs­burg, went up 2-0 be­fore the Ger­man side struck back with two goals in quick suc­ces­sion to level.

Jose Calle­jon opened the scor­ing soon af­ter half­time when he fired from just out­side the area, The shot took a de­flec­tion off Ri­cardo Ro­driguez and left goal­keeper Diego Be­naglio help­less.

Gon­zalo Higuain set up the sec­ond in the 65th, and Dries Mertens used his pass to shoot on the tar­get. Be­naglio par­ried with his leg, but Mertens fol­lowed through to put it in the back of the net from close range.

Wolfs­burg pulled level on head­ers from Timm Klose in the 71st and Ivan Perisic in the 73rd.

AP

Dy­namo Kiev’s Younes Bel­handa con­trols the ball dur­ing a Europa League quar­ter­fi­nal, sec­ond leg soc­cer match be­tween Fiorentina and Dy­namo Kyiv at the Artemio Franchi sta­dium in Florence, Italy on Thurs­day, April 23.

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