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Traoré ends Hannover siege to put Anji through

Hannover 96 1-1 FC Anji Makhachkala (agg: 2-4)
The Russian visitors survived a late onslaught triggered by Sergio da Silva Pinto's goal and Lacina Traoré's added-time effort sealed their passage.

Hannover playmaker Szabolcs Huszti is shadowed by Arseni Logashov
Hannover playmaker Szabolcs Huszti is shadowed by Arseni Logashov ©Getty Images

FC Anji Makhachkala held off the challenge of Hannover 96 to secure their place in the UEFA Europa League round of 16.

Holders of a 3-1 lead from the first leg, Guus Hiddink's men appeared well on course for a meeting with Newcastle United FC before Sergio da Silva Pinto struck in the 70th minute. That led to a frantic finish, but substitute Lacina Traoré settled the matter deep into added time to seal Anji's passage.

With a minimum of two goals required at the outset, Hannover tried to force the issue but found Anji in resolute mood. The German team's most likely route to breaking through looked like coming from the flanks, with Szabolcs Huszti, among others, delivering some testing balls.

Mohammed Abdellaoue could not stretch to meet just such a centre, and both Mame Diouf and Didier Ya Konan glanced headers narrowly past the far post as the dangerous crosses kept raining down on the heart of the Anji defence.

With Samuel Eto'o up front, though, the Russian outfit were always going to carry some threat of their own, and the Cameroonian nearly grabbed an away goal when he twisted and turned before firing into the side netting.

Anji rather took the sting out of the Bundesliga side from then on and it seemed that they were cruising through, until Da Silva Pinto intervened with 20 minutes remaining. The winger arrived late, and unmarked, into the box to sweep in Huszti's centre with unerring accuracy.

With the mood completely changed and the snow coming down, Hannover ploughed forward in numbers and visiting keeper Vladimir Gabulov had to be at his best to beat away Huszti's powerful header. The chances were coming at either end but, with Hannover pushing on, it was Anji who registered in the last minute of added time.

Jucilei found Traoré in space behind the home rearguard and the substitute forward took his time before calmly slotting past Ron-Robert Zieler.