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Real Sociedad de Fútbol progressed to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League after holding Galatasaray SK to a draw to clinch the point they needed to join Group D winners Juventus FC in the knockout stages.
In a tense match at the Anoeta stadium in San Sebastian, Hakan Sükür gave the Turkish side a first-half lead against the run of play. Real got the equaliser their pressure warranted through Oscar De Paula six minutes after the break, and survived a couple of late scares before consigning Galatasaray to a place in the UEFA Cup.
With so much at stake both sides started slowly, with Galatasaray willing to sit back and attempt to draw Real forward. The Spanish side, however, looked tentative and for all the threat posed by Igor Gabilondo and Valeri Karpin on the wings, lacked a cutting edge in attack without the suspended Darko Kovacevic.
Sabri to the rescue
Galatasaray, meanwhile, often looked bereft of attacking ideas and it was startling that it was the Turkish side that went into the break in front. On 26 minutes Xabi Alonso's powerful header flew goalwards, but Sabri Sarioglu's athletic clearance on the line kept the scores level. Seconds later Galatasaray struck.
Hakan Sükür strikes
Galatasaray broke with purpose for the first time from Sabri's clearance and when Berkant Göktan split the Real defence to put Hakan Sükür through on goal, the striker made the most of his one chance of the half, slipping the ball over the advancing Alberto López, who was in the side as a late replacement for the injured Sander Westerveld.
Real hit back
A stunned Real were soon back on the ball. On 33 minjutes Faryd Mondragón did well to beat out Igor Gabilondo's cross from the left, then De Paula fired over when the ball had fallen invitingly for him in the area. Galatasaray could find no respite. On 39 minutes Nihat Kahveci shot wide from close range then, in time added on at the end of the first half, Karpin threaded the ball through to Aitor López who was unfortunate to see his powerful strike flash past the post.
Real came into the game on the back of a 4-0 home thrashing by Real Betis Balompié, but they were showing few signs of the problems that have beset them on the domestic front, as they attacked with confidence and fluency. Within seconds of the restart they won a corner and Real did not let up the pressure until they had belatedly and deservedly drawn level.
De Paula levels
The goal arrived on 51 minutes when, from a free-kick, Xabi Alonso crossed from the left and found De Paula, who controlled the ball before slipping a low shot under Mondragón.
The goal put Real back in control of the second qualifying place, prompting Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim to replace midfield player Hasan Sas with striker Arif Erdem on 66 minutes. The move almost bore fruit on 75 minutes when Arif found space in the area only for Bjørn Tore Kvarme to slide across and make a potentially crucial block on the striker.
That chance, rare as it was, served as another warning that another Galatasaray goal then could have taken them through, and in the latter stages it was the visiting side that seized the initiative. One final late scare for Real saw Alberto dive bravely to smother Ovidiu Petre's low cross, but the Spanish side held on for a point to secure second spot and qualification.
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