Football

Sociedad sneaks into last 32

In the nick of time: Willian Jose’s late equaliser helped Real Sociedad pull off a draw against Napoli.  

Real Sociedad snatched qualification for the last-32 stage of the Europa League in the final seconds on Thursday after Willian Jose’s late leveller in a 1-1 draw at Napoli and AZ Alkmaar's shock 2-1 defeat at Rijeka allowed the Spanish side to progress.

Young Boys, Molde, Wolfsberg and Maccabi Tel-Aviv rounded off the group stage by making Monday's draw in Nyon, where they join the 18 already-qualified teams and will be met by eight drop-outs from the Champions League.

LaLiga high-fliers Sociedad was heading out of Europe as the final two matches of Group F headed into stoppage time, with Alkmaar set to go through in second place as the Dutch side was drawing against bottom side Rijeka and Napoli led in Naples thanks to Piotr Zielinski's fine first half strike.

However, Jose’s thumping finish to level the scores at a soaking Stadio Diego Armando Maradona put the Basque outfit back into second place, and Ivan Tomecak's 93rd-minute winner for Rijeka in Croatia confirmed Alkmaar's elimination.

Napoli finishes top of the group on 11 points, two ahead of Sociedad in second which ends the group stage a further point ahead of Alkmaar.

The results:

Group A: CSKA Sofia (Bul) 3 (Tiago Rodrigues 5, Sowe 34, 55) bt Roma (Ita) 1 (Milanese 22); Young Boys (Sui) 2 (Nsame 90+3-pen, Gaudino 90+6) bt CFR Cluj (Rom) 1 (Debeljuh 84).

Group B: Dundalk (Irl) 2 (Flores 22, Hoare 85) lost to Arsenal (Eng) 4 (Nketiah 12, Elneny 18, Willock 67, Balogun 80); Rapid Vienna (Aut) 2 (Ritzmaier 43, Melih Ibrahimoglu 90) Molde (Nor) drew with 2 (Wolff Eikrem 12, 46).

Group C: Bayer Leverkusen (Ger) 4 (Bailey 8, 32, Diaby 59, Bellarabi 90+1) bt Slavia Prague (Cze) 0; Hapoel Beer-Sheva (Isr) 1 (Hatuel 72) bt Nice (Fra) 0.

Group D: Standard Liege (Bel) 2 (Raskin 12, Tapsoba 60) drew with Benfica (Por) 2 (Everton 16, Pizzi 67-pen); Lech Poznan (Pol) 0 lost to Rangers (Sco) 2 (Itten 31, Hagi 72).

Group E: PSV Eindhoven (Ned) 4 (Malen 36, Dumfries 63-pen, Piroe 90+1, 90+3) bt Omonia Nicosia (Cyp) 0; PAOK (Gre) 0 drew with Granada (Esp) 0.

Group F: Napoli (Ita) 1 (Zielinski 35) drew with Real Sociedad (Esp) 1 (Willian Jose 90+2); Rijeka (Cro) 2 (Menalo 52, Tomecak 90+3) bt AZ Alkmaar (Ned) 1 (Wijndal 57).

Group G: Braga (Por) 2 (Abu Hanna 61-og, Ricardo Horta 68) bt Zorya Luhansk (Ukr) 0; Leicester City (Eng) 2 (Under 12, Barnes 14) bt AEK Athens (Gre) 0.

Group H: Sparta Prague (Cze) 0 lost to AC Milan (Ita) 1 (Hauge 23); Celtic (Sco) 3 (Jullien 22, McGregor 28-pen, Turnbull 75) bt Lille (Fra) 2 (Ikone 24, Weah 71). Group I: Maccabi Tel-Aviv (Isr) 1 (Saborit 67) bt Sivasspor (Tur) 0; Villarreal (Esp) v Qarabag (Aze) (postponed due to coronavirus).

Group J: Tottenham Hotspur (Eng) 2 (Carlos Vinicius 57, Lo Celso 71) bt Antwerp (Bel) 0; Ludogorets (Bul) 1 (Manu 46) lost to LASK Linz (Aut) 3 (Wiesinger 56, Renner 62-pen, Madsen 67).

Group K: Wolfsberg (Aut) 1 (Joveljic 31) bt Feyenoord (Ned) 0; Dinamo Zagreb (Cro) 3 (Gvardiol 28, Orsic 41, Kastrati 75) bt CSKA Moscow (Rus) 1 (Bistrovic 77).

Group L: Slovan Liberec (Cze) 0 drew with Red Star Belgrade (Srb) 0; Hoffenheim (Ger) 4 (Beier 21, 49, Skov 26, Kramaric 64) bt Gent (Bel) 1 (Nurio Fortuna 81).


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