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Liberec sneak into last 32 at Estoril

Estoril Praia 1-2 FC Slovan Liberec
Jaroslav Šilhavý's side secured second spot in Group H and a place in the round of 32 by edging past the hosts in Portugal.

Michael Rabušic scored Liberec's winner
Michael Rabušic scored Liberec's winner ©AFP/Getty Images

FC Slovan Liberec pipped SC Freiburg to second in Group H and a place in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 by seeing off Estoril Praia 2-1 in Portugal.

Already eliminated from the competition, Estoril were wasteful in front of goal as the visitors took advantage of their own potency on the counterattack. Josef Šural and Michael Rabušic scored in each half as Liberec qualified for the next stage despite Sebá pulling a goal back late on for Estoril.

Playing for pride, the home team were quick out of the blocks, piling pressure on their opponents and almost scoring in the fourth minute as Gerso headed wide from a Javier Balboa cross. Liberec opted to sit back and wait for their opportunity to counter and got the reward for their patience in the 18th minute when Serhiy Rybalka's corner was flicked on by Radoslav Kováč, allowing an unmarked Šural to score.

Estoril refused to throw in the towel after the break and almost got an equaliser two minutes into the second half as Babanco's cross from the left flew narrowly over Lukáš Hroššo's bar. The hosts continued to pepper the Liberec defence, but it was the Czech side who grabbed the next goal, doubling their lead 20 minutes from time. Rabušic beat Estoril defender Yohan Tavares for pace and, one-on-one with goalkeeper Ricardo Ribeiro – on for the injured Vagner – chipped the ball over the substitute to make it 2-0.

Sebá converted Babanco's cross to score for Estoril in the 82nd minute, but Liberec held on to seal their place in the round of 32 draw on 16 December.