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Forlán strike sends Atlético through

Galatasaray AŞ 1-2 Club Atlético de Madrid (agg: 2-3)
Diego Forlán scored a 90th-minute winner as the Spanish club got the better of ten-man Galatasaray in Istanbul.

Forlán strike sends Atlético through
Forlán strike sends Atlético through ©UEFA.com

Substitute Diego Forlán provided a clinical finish in the last minute to earn Club Atlético de Madrid a 2-1 victory over ten-man Galatasaray AŞ and a place in the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League.

After a cautious first half, Atlético midfielder Simão broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute, but Kader Keita levelled three minutes later for the hosts, just as he had in the first leg, which ended 1-1. The turning point nonetheless came when Galatasaray lost Caner Erkin to an 82nd-minute red card, with Forlán pouncing to hit a late winner and set up a tie with Iberian rivals Sporting Clube de Portugal.

An Elano header and a deflected shot from the Brazilian were the highlights of the predictably tight early stages, with the first clear-cut chance only arriving in the 35th minute. Keita whipped over a cross from the right and skipper Arda Turan steered a difficult shot over the bar with Sergio Asenjo at his mercy. José Antonio Reyes, meanwhile, was busy in a playmaking role at the other end, where Forlán came on for injured striker Sergio Agüero just before the break.

The game needed a goal and Reyes nearly provided it after the restart, first being denied by Galatasaray's former Atlético goalkeeper Leo Franco as he tried to round him, and then meeting a long ball forward with a shot on the bounce that rattled the crossbar. Instead, it was Simão who found the net, steering the ball past Franco after José Manuel Jurado had headed the ball on from a throw-in. The lead lasted just three minutes, though, with Arda floating the ball over to the far post where Keita was waiting to head in.

As tension built in the closing stages, a second yellow card for felling Juan Valera led to Caner's dismissal. Then, just as extra time beckoned, Forlán collected a clever pass into the box from Reyes, twisted past his marker and fired home a shot that took his side through.