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Braaten sets up last-day decider

Toulouse FC 1-0 FK Partizan
Daniel Braaten's scrappy goal early in the second half was enough to keep alive Alain Casanova's team's ambitions of a last-32 place.

Paulo Machado evades the Partizan defence
Paulo Machado evades the Partizan defence ©Getty Images

A close-range Daniel Braaten header means Toulouse FC go into their final Group J match still in with a chance of pipping Club Brugge KV to second place after condemning FK Partizan to a fifth straight UEFA Europa League defeat.

Close-range header
Following good early chances for the home team, who had to win to stay in contention, the game drifted along until the second half when Norwegian striker Braaten broke the deadlock. From then on, a Toulouse side bereft of eight first-choice players were happy to contain the unambitious visitors and victory in Bruges in a fortnight will take them through.

Intercepted pass
Toulouse started with purpose and created a three-on-two breakaway in the eighth minute. Captain Pantxi Sirieix cleverly intercepted a wayward pass and played in Paulo Machado, whose fierce angled shot was kept out by a fine one-handed save from Mladen Božović. Machado was involved again a minute later when his free-kick deflected off Siniša Stefanović and rolled slowly past the post with Božović stranded. Central defender Dany Nounkeu also went close for Toulouse, powering a header narrowly over from a left-wing corner before the game lost all momentum. Belgrade slowed the pace down, but took 40 minutes to muster their first shot.

Despairing dive
Toulouse achieved the breakthrough nine minutes after the break with a scrappy goal when Machado's corner was only half-cleared to Luan. The Brazilian's acrobatic volley into the turf was diverted by the head of Braaten, just over the despairing dive of the grounded Božović. Partizan almost managed an instant response but Nenad Djordjević's powerful free-kick from 25 metres out was pushed away at full stretch by Olivier Blondel. The home keeper, standing in for the injured Yohann Pelé, came to the rescue again on 66 minutes when he tipped over a powerful header after Cléo was left unmarked at a corner.