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Pina marvel sends Villarreal past Napoli

Napoli 1-1 Villarreal (agg: 1-2)
Tomás Pina's improbable finish from out on the flank cancelled out Marek Hamšík's volley and put the Yellow Submarine in the last 16.

Highlights: Napoli eliminated by Villarreal after 1-1 draw
  • Marek Hamšík volley cancels out Villarreal's first-leg advantage
  • Extraordinary Tomás Pina goal on the hour restores visitors' aggregate lead
  • Alphonse Aréola makes fine saves as Napoli's late surge goes unrewarded
  • Apply for tickets for the UEFA Europa League final at Basel's St. Jakob-Park
  • The round of 16 draw takes place on Friday, streamed live from 13.00CET

A rare goal for midfielder Tomás Pina propelled Villarreal into the UEFA Europa League round of 16, Napoli unable to build on Marek Hamšík's first-half volley.

Not long after Villarreal alumnus Pepe Reina had pushed away Cédric Bakambu's low shot, Hamšík latched on to a headed clearance to send a volley trundling past Alphonse Aréola from 20 metres – the Slovakian's fourth goal in six meetings with the Yellow Submarine.

However, Napoli could not press their advantage, although Mateo Musacchio did deflect Dries Mertens's ball onto his own post in the first half. A succession of misses ramped up the pressure on Maurizio Sarri's side, and there was a moment of panic as the hour approached, Reina swatting Antonio Rukavina's ball out of the path of Bakambu with the goal gaping.

Suárez's first-leg strike for Villarreal

Worst fears were soon realised for Napoli, Pina bending the ball into the net from an improbable position out on the left. Deliberate or otherwise, it left the home team needing at least two goals to progress.

They pushed hard for them, Aréola doing superbly to fend away shots from Lorenzo Insigne and Mertens in quick succession, before Gonzalo Higuaín missed the target. No doubting Napoli's skill and endeavour, but this was not their night.

©Getty Images
©Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images

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