Two goals from Fernando Llorente gave Athletic Club an ultimately comfortable 3-0 win at FK Austria Wien to seal their progress to the round of 32 from Group L.
Needing victory to stay in contention, Austria started brightly but Llorente struck in either half with Mikel San José scoring in between on his first senior start. While the home team bow out of the competition, the Spanish side will meet Werder Bremen at San Mamés on 16 December to determine top spot in the section.
An industrious start to the game from the hosts, with Emin Sulimani and Mamadou Diabang prominent, went unrewarded and it was the visitors who struck first in the 19th minute. Despite not having a decent spell of possession in the opening stages, Athletic hit the bar twice in the space of 30 seconds – through Francisco Yeste and San José – before Llorente jabbed in the second rebound.
Karl Daxbacher's side were not disheartened, and continued to take the game to Los Leones. Gorka Iraizoz was made to work when Andoni Iraola inadvertently headed a set-piece towards his own goal. The visiting goalkeeper then palmed wide Zlatko Junuzović's shot and watched a Milenko Ačimovič free-kick fly just wide.
Sluggish in the first half, Athletic picked up their game in the second. Just after the hour mark, Javi Martínez had a shot blocked deep in the Austrian side's penalty area, but the the ball popped up invitingly for San José who drilled a fearsome volley from a tight angle in off the bar. After the game was delayed for crowd disturbances, Llorente passed up two golden chances to increase his side's tally before finally scoring an easy tap-in six minutes from time for his sixth goal of the group stage.
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