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Stoch strikes late for Twente triumph

FC Twente 2-1 FC Sheriff
Miroslav Stoch hit his second goal of the game a minute from time to give Twente a precious win that took them second in Group H.

Sheriff's Benjamin Balima (left) challenges David Carney
Sheriff's Benjamin Balima (left) challenges David Carney ©Getty Images

Miroslav Stoch struck his second goal of the game in the 89th minute to give Twente an invaluable win that moved them second in UEFA Europa League Group H, three points ahead of FC Sheriff.

Sheriff advantage
The Moldovan champions joined Twente on four points a fortnight ago with a 2-0 defeat of Steve McClaren's side in Tiraspol only to fall behind early to Stoch's first as acquaintances were renewed. Twente substitute Cheick Tioté put through an own goal midway through the second half but Stoch's fine run and long-range finish as time ran out means his side can go through if they pick up more points against group leaders Fenerbahçe SK on 2 December than Sheriff manage against fourth-placed visitors FC Steaua Bucureşti.

Early goal
Twente were aiming to reproduce their superb Eredivisie form to end a UEFA Europa League stumble since their opening 2-1 victory at Fenerbahçe and they went ahead within eight minutes, Theo Janssen's corner resulting in a scramble in the box which was finally resolved by Stoch's confident curling finish. Sheriff are also on a long domestic winning run, however, and Aleksei Kuchuk fizzed a shot just wide to indicate their threat, before Stanislav Namaşco tipped over Blaise Nkufo's shot at the end following a mazy dribble. Despite those moments, clear-cut chances were few before the break.

Stoch had the ball in the goal again on 66 minutes after a superb cut-back and emphatic finish, only to be ruled offside. Not long afterwards, Sheriff levelled, with Luis Antonio Rodríguez's low, deep cross from the left turned into his own net by the stretching Tioté. Rodríguez then shot just wide before Twente went straight down the other end, where Janssen chested Ronnie Stam's cross down to Nkufo, whose powerful effort just missed the target. Sheriff were having the better of the late exchanges, but Stoch's moment of magic was decisive.