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Fiorentina through at Belenenses' expense

Fiorentina 1-0 Belenenses
Khouma Babacar's goal on 67 minutes removed any lingering doubts about the Viola's progress to the round of 32 as Group I runners-up.

Highlights: Fiorentina 1-0 Belenenses
Highlights: Fiorentina 1-0 Belenenses
  • Khouma Babacar and Marcos Alonso both hit the bar for the home side
  • Subdued Belenenses are within a goal of the round of 32 for a time
  • Babacar's strike on 67 minutes puts Fiorentina firmly in control
  • Viola are confirmed as runners-up in Group I behind Basel
  • The round of 32 draw takes place at 13.00CET on Monday

Khouma Babacar's goal removed any lingering doubts over Fiorentina's progress to the round of 32, Belenenses going down without much of a fight in UEFA Europa League Group I.

With Belenenses needing a win to have any chance of qualification, the onus was on the visitors from Lisbon, but the Viola did all the running. Dangerous throughout, centre-forward Babacar headed against the bar from a corner midway through the first half, with Paulo Sousa's side rarely troubled by a team coached by his old Portugal colleague Ricardo Sá Pinto.

There was a momentary blip after the break when Luigi Sepe made a very good save to stop Davide Astori putting the ball into his own net. However, Belenenses lived a charmed life again on 54 minutes, Marcos Alonso glancing Joan Verdú's corner onto the bar, before Ventura got two hands to Boubacar's effort from the rebound.

With Basel taking the lead against Lech in the other Group I fixture, Belenenses were within a goal of stealing second spot in the section from their hosts. However, they were undone on 67 minutes, a swift Fiorentina thrust sending Babacar through on goal and the Senegalese steadying himself before beating Ventura with a cool shot.

Tellingly, Belenenses did not produce an attempt on target until substitute Tiago Caeiro headed pretty much straight at Sepe on 86 minutes.

©AFP/Getty Images
©Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images