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José Rondón and Vladimir Dyadyun scored in extra time to seal a first European quarter-final appearance for FC Rubin Kazan – and bring to an end Levante UD's debut continental campaign.
Neither club had taken part in a penalty shoot-out in Europe, but this UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie seemed destined to be settled from the spot after 180 goalless minutes. However, the game's standout performer, Bebras Natcho, carved open the Spanish side's defence with a perfect through ball in the 100th minute, allowing Rondón to slide in, before substitute Dyadyun streaked clear to seal victory with eight minutes remaining.
During a tense affair which echoed last week's opening leg in Valencia, it was the Russian team who made most of the running, with their Israeli playmaker Natcho a constant thorn in the visitors' side. After two attempts off target in the first five minutes, Levante goalkeeper Keylor Navas denied the midfielder from distance twice before the break. At the other end Sergei Ryzhikov was a spectator for long spells, with only Nabil El Zhar threatening on the counter for Juan Ignacio Martínez's men.
Natcho drove over soon after the restart and saw a shot excellently saved by Navas, while El Zhar looped a bouncing volley a fraction wide of the home goal. Rondón had the chance to win it for Kurban Berdyev's charges in the final minute of normal time, heading narrowly wide; however, the Venezuelan made up for the miss ten minutes into extra time, to set Rubin on the way to a historic win on their 50th European outing. Levante threw everyone forward in search of an equaliser and were hit by a sucker punch, a long throw out from Ryzhikov enabling Dyadyun to outpace the defence and convert the second.
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