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Tottenham Hotspur FC will take on SL Benfica in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 after a thrilling 3-1 comeback win against FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk at White Hart Lane.
Spurs were stunned by Roman Zozulya's header after half-time, but any hopes ex-Tottenham boss Juande Ramos harboured of a successful return to his former stomping ground were dashed by Christian Eriksen's set piece and a five-minute Emmanuel Adebayor double salvo that followed Zozulya's red card.
With his team losing 1-0 in Ukraine last week, Tim Sherwood took the proactive approach to reversing Spurs' fortunes in this last-32 tie, starting both Roberto Soldado and Adebayor. The latter made an early impact, nodding down a high ball for Eriksen, whose deflected volley dropped just over. Eriksen was Tottenham's main protagonist, but the Denmark schemer's hesitancy in promising areas extinguished several opportunities, and a curling free-kick was smothered by Dnipro goalkeeper Denys Boyko.
Despite the bodies the Premier League side had devoted to attack, an interval lead eluded them. The home fans' frustration was then compounded moments after the restart when Dnipro captain Ruslan Rotan's set piece was met by Zozulya's flashing header that left Hugo Lloris with little chance.
That stung the hosts into life. Mousa Dembélé's bouncing volley clipped the crossbar before Eriksen squeezed another exquisite free-kick inside the base of the left upright to equalise. At the other end, Yevhen Konoplyanka cracked a low shot off the left post, though the momentum shifted again soon after as goalscorer Zozulya was sent off for violent conduct on 63 minutes.
From then on, the match became the Adebayor show. The forward stabbed in Eriksen's swinging cross to level the aggregate score on 65 minutes, and then put Spurs in the driving seat when he brought down Zeki Fryers' long diagonal and finished with aplomb. Lloris was called upon to repel Yevhen Seleznyov's thumping drive and Konoplyanka's set piece as Dnipro strove to spoil the party late on – but Sherwood's charges survived the onslaught to advance.
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