Club Atlético de Madrid and Villarreal CF upheld Spain's fine recent UEFA Cup record by reaching the Round of 32 with 2-0 wins on Wednesday night.
They will be joined in the last 32 by Everton FC, Hamburger SV and FC Basel 1893 who also successfully negotiated the group stage. Sevilla FC, who have since graduated to the UEFA Champions League, have won the trophy for the last two years and, with Getafe CF also in with a chance of qualifying for the next phase on Thursday, Spain should again have a strong showing.
Two for Tomasson
Jon Dahl Tomasson scored twice against IF Elfsborg to knock the Swedish side out of the competition and send Villarreal to the top of Group C ahead of their final match at AEK Athens FC in two weeks' time. The Dane, who could have had a hat-trick but missed a penalty with two minutes to go, said: "It was a shame about the penalty but it gives me a lot of self-confidence to score these goals because I hadn't played in the starting XI for such a long time."
All to play for
"Our objective has been fulfilled," added coach Manuel Pellegrini. "We wanted to qualify and w ehave done. Now we will see what happens in Athens to know where we stand in the group." With one round to play, unbeaten Villarreal have seven points, two more than ACF Fiorentina and AEK. FK Mladá Boleslav can also still qualify but must win in Florence to do so.
UEFA Intertoto Cup winners Atlético also have seven points in Group B after victory at FC København to join already-qualified Panathinaikos FC in the next round. Simão turned a low cross into the net in the 21st minute and Agüero struck just after the hour. Coach Javier Aguirre said: "I thought we were comfortable out there. Now we need to beat Panathinaikos at home to top the group, which will mean we're drawn against a third-placed team [in the Round of 32]." Simão added: "The team worked hard and things turned out well for us." How well might depend on the draw.
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.