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Sevilla eliminate Estoril to progress

Sevilla FC 1-1 Estoril Praia
The Spanish hosts reached the knockout stages but a last-minute goal by Estoril substitute Rubén Fernandes prevented them clinching top spot.

Sevilla eliminate Estoril to progress
Sevilla eliminate Estoril to progress ©UEFA.com

Sevilla FC made sure of their participation in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Estoril Praia, for whom Rubén Fernandes grabbed a last-minute equaliser.

It was a night of mixed feelings for Sevilla who, having led for over 80 minutes following Kevin Gameiro's neat opener, were punished for failing to add to their advantage. Coke, Gameiro and Vitolo were all cupable of wasting chances before Estoril substitute Fernandes poked in Javier Balboa's pass.

Buoyed by Sunday's 4-0 Liga victory over city rivals and fellow UEFA Europa League contenders Real Betis Balompié, Sevilla took the game to Estoril from the off. An inspired Ivan Rakitić tested Estoril keeper Vagner and Cala somehow headed over from under the bar prior to Gameiro's seventh-minute goal – the Frenchman latching onto a through ball from José Antonio Reyes and clipping in a fine finish.

Rakitić was denied again by Vagner after Reyes's clever cutback, and right-back Coke tried his luck from distance but also shot too centrally as Sevilla failed to extend their lead. 

The second period was a more even affair, with the pace and power of Estoril's Sebá ruffling feathers in the hosts' back line. Estoril needed to win and piled forward, creating their two best opportunities of the match. First, home custodian Javi Varas was called upon to smother after João Pedro Galvão ploughed his way past Coke and Federico Fazio, and minutes later Carlitos sent a flicked header just wide.

Recovering from their shaky spell, the Sevillistas regained the upper hand and substitute Vitolo should have put the game behind Estoril when one-on-one with Vagner. Mirroring their previous home fixture against FC Slovan Liberec, though, Sevilla were punished – Fernandes sliding in to prevent Unai Emery's charges guaranteeing Group H top spot.

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