FC Metalist Kharkiv are through to the UEFA Europa League round of 32 following a 3-1 win against Rosenborg BK.
Beaten just once in nine European home games, Metalist got off to another fine start thanks to an extraordinary volley from Taison. Though Bořek Dočkal pulled the visitors level in far more humdrum fashion, second-half strikes from Cleiton Xavier and Juan Manuel Torres ensured Taison and his team had more than one reason to celebrate.
The first and most memorable goal had come after just four minutes. Fininho sent in a hopeful, and apparently harmless, long ball from the left which Taison met with a venomous first-time volley from the acutest of angles. It was a strike more than a tad reminiscent, in terms of touch, technique and execution, of Marco van Basten's in the 1988 UEFA European Championship final.
Rosenborg were understandably dazed and could have gone two behind had Alexander Lund Hansen not shown strong enough wrists to keep out Jonathan Cristaldo's close-range shot. It was a save that soon reaped reward, Daniel Fredheim Holm surging through the middle and playing in Dočkal, who recovered from a slack first touch to slot through Vladimir Dišljenković's legs.
Metalist almost reclaimed the lead in the blink of an eye, but Hansen spread himself to thwart Cristaldo once more. Marlos was next to be frustrated by the visiting custodian soon after the interval, though Hansen could do little more than hold his breath when Papa Gueye inadvertently turned a corner onto the base of a post midway through the second half.
With 20 minutes left, however, Metalist finally found a way through; Taison provided the quicksilver break and astute pass, Cleiton the surging run, control and composed finish. Torres struck a third with a sweeping half-volley in added time to take Metalist through in style and bang the final nail in Rosenborg's coffin.
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