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Fenerbahçe stop Lokomotiv comeback in its tracks

Lokomotiv Moskva 1-1 Fenerbahçe (agg: 1-3)
The Turkish team resisted a concerted second-leg comeback in Russia, Mehmet Topal's header with seven minutes left sealing progress.

Highlights: See how Fenerbahçe made the last-16
  • Mehmet Topal's late header seals progress for the visitors
  • Fenerbahçe become the second team after Braga to secure a place in the last 16
  • The Turkish side reached the semis the only other time they made the round of 16
  • Apply for tickets for the UEFA Europa League final at Basel's St. Jakob-Park
  • The last-16 draw takes place on Friday, streamed live from 13.00CET

Fenerbahçe are through to the UEFA Europa League round of 16 after rounding off an aggregate triumph over below-par Lokomotiv Moskva.

With Lokomotiv trailing 2-0 going into the second leg, Aleksandr Samedov's first-half goal gave the hosts hope, but Mehmet Topal's header with seven minutes remaining spared Fenerbahçe any late drama as they clinched progress.

Fenerbahçe started well, midfielder Souza almost adding to his collectors' item first-leg double with another in Russia as he sent a header just over. Lokomotiv, in only their second competitive outing of 2016, struggled to get going yet found some impetus before the interval.

First-leg highlights: Fenerbahçe 2-0 Lokomotiv

Samedov duly got the opener, tucking in his fifth of the competition after goalkeeper Fabiano could merely parry substitute Taras Mikhalik's stinging shot. It stirred Vítor Pereira's visitors into action, Robin van Persie squandering a golden chance for an equaliser with a header on the hour.

Lokomotiv began taking risks as they chased a second goal and Fabiano made amends for his earlier error to deny Samedov a second. With seven minutes to go, Igor Cherevchenko's men were well on top – only for Mehmet Topal to end their hopes as he glanced in Hasan Ali Kaldırım's corner.

Key man: Aleksandr Samedov
He may have finished on the losing side but Samedov was a constant threat down the right for the Railwaymen. The 31-year-old notched his fifth goal of the European campaign and it took a fine stop by Fabiano to prevent the Russian international midfielder claiming a sixth.

Samedov (No19) celebrates
Samedov (No19) celebrates©AFP/Getty Images

How far can Fenerbahçe go?
Judging on their performance for most of the 90 minutes in Moscow, the obvious answer would be not that far. However, Pereira's team were as good in Istanbul as they were poor in the Russian capital. If they can improve their away form and get more out of Van Persie, they could be a threat.

Where the game was won and lost
Fenerbahçe were well below par and can count themselves a bit lucky to have made the round of 16 after coming under considerable pressure. Lokomotiv ran out of steam late on – understandable given this was just their second official match in two months.

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