Olympiacos wrap up victory against Rubin
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Olympiacos FC 1-0 FC Rubin Kazan (agg: 2-0)
Rafik Djebbourstruck on 14 minutes to rubber-stamp the Greek outfit's progress and a last-16 encounter against FC Metalist Kharkiv.
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Olympiacos FC sealed their place in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 at the expense of FC Rubin Kazan, a 1-0 second-leg win completing a 2-0 aggregate victory.
One up thanks to David Fuster's effort in Moscow last week, Olympiacos ensured their progress thanks to Rafik Djebbour's 14th-minute goal at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium. They will now face FC Metalist Kharkiv in the last 16 after the Ukrainian outfit eased past FC Salzburg.
Both sides made a strong start in Piraeus, though it was the visitors who had the first real chance on nine minutes when defender César Navas sent Obafemi Martins through on goal with a superb pass. The Nigeria striker took one touch too many, however, allowing Avraam Papadopoulos to make a last-ditch tackle.
Olympiacos responded by taking the lead. Ariel Ibagaza was the provider, sending over a precise free-kick from the right which was headed on by Iván Marcano before being flicked in by Djebbour. The hosts grew in confidence thereafter and Djebbour could have made it 2-0 after latching on to Giannis Maniatis' pass; his shot was blocked by goalkeeper Sergei Ryzhikov.
Roy Carroll, the hero in the first leg after coming off the bench to save a penalty, produced a great stop on the half-hour at the feet of Nelson Valdez, who also went close with a glancing header seven minutes later. Carroll then made two further sprawling saves to deny Martins and Navas in the second half as Kurban Berdyev's Rubin sought a way back.
The 34-year-old keeper was visibly struggling with a leg injury in the latter stages but remained as the hosts stood firm despite Rubin hitting the bar late on.