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Hamburg cling on in Brussels

RSC Anderlecht 4-3 Hamburger SV (agg: 5-6)
Mladen Petrić struck a crucial third away goal for the UEFA Europa League final hosts to finally kill off Anderlecht.

Hamburg cling on in Brussels
Hamburg cling on in Brussels ©UEFA.com

Hamburger SV retain hope of playing the inaugural UEFA Europa League final in their own stadium, but only after squeezing past RSC Anderlecht 6-5 on aggregate following a second-leg show stopper in Brussels.

Holding a 3-1 first-leg advantage, the German side appeared to be cruising towards Friday's quarter-final draw after Jerome Boateng's 42nd-minute opener, only for Romelu Lukaku's header and a Matías Suárez penalty to put Anderlecht ahead before the break. Marcell Jansen's early second-half strike dampened home hopes, but efforts from Lucas Biglia and Mbark Boussoufa left Hamburg vulnerable until Mladen Petrić found the net 15 minutes from time to see them through.

If Anderlecht were daunted by the size of their task, they did not show it in a rip-roaring opening. They failed to capitalise, and Petrić twice went close to easing the visitors into a comfortable position before Boateng sent a measured curling shot dipping over Silvio Proto. Lukaku quickly restored hope, though. Expectations are high for the 16-year-old, and his close-range headed equaliser will increase the hype.

The leveller provided the "snowball effect" the hosts' coach, Ariël Jacobs, had been looking for and Suárez brought Anderlecht within a goal of squaring up the tie on aggregate, sliding home the spot kick he had won following a foul by Boateng. Anderlecht went in at the break with belief and a 2-1 lead.

That hope looked forlorn when Jansen tipped the scales back in Hamburg's favour, firing low past Proto from a tight angle, but Anderlecht refused to accept their fate. Biglia – teed up intelligently by Jelle Van Damme – and Boussoufa, who nipped ahead of the sluggish Frank Rost to turn in Lukaku's low cross, brought the capacity crowd to its feet. David Jarolím's pass then sprung the Anderlecht offside trap and Petrić finished coolly to send Hamburg into the last eight.

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