BSC Young Boys 2-0 AC Sparta Praha
Late goals from Guillaume Hoarau and Renato Steffen gave Young Boys the win they needed to leapfrog their visitors and qualify from Group I.
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• Guillaume Hoarau and Renato Steffen send Young Boys through
• Young Boys finish second behind Napoli in Group I
• Sparta needed a point to pip their Swiss hosts to qualification
• Yvon Mvogo makes several key saves in goal for home team
• Round of 32 draw takes place in Nyon at 13.00CET on 15 December
BSC Young Boys qualified for the UEFA Europa League knockout stage at the expense of AC Sparta Praha after late goals by Guillaume Hoarau and Renato Steffen gave them victory against the Czech side.
Both teams could have won it in a tense, open game, but it was Young Boys who were most clinical: Hoarau from the penalty spot and Steffen deep into added time. Sparta needed just a point and had their chances, but it is the Swiss side who will be in Monday's draw.
With over 500 travelling fans in their corner, Sparta were assured and lively, settling down after Steffen nearly gave the hosts a first-minute lead with a stooping header. Pavel Kadeřábek set up good chances for Tomáš Přikryl and Ladislav Krejčí, with Young Boys goalkeeper Yvon Mvogo doing superbly well to deny the latter.
Despite this, the best chances of the first half probably fell to Uli Forte's side, Yuya Kubo firing into the side netting before passing up an even more presentable opportunity when he had only Marek Štěch to beat – he shot tamely, straight at the keeper.
Needing a goal, Young Boys pushed on and Štěch did brilliantly to get down and push wide a 48th-minute Hoarau header. Sparta substitute Tiémoko Konaté could not convert when in on goal and the visitors were made to pay when Milan Vilotić pushed over Pavel Kadeřábek in the area and Hoarau confidently dispatched the spot kick.
Sparta nearly levelled straight away, but Mvogo showed great agility to save Josef Hušbauer's header before captain Mario Holek fired over from just six metres five minutes from time. Steffen's late goal added salt to the wounds.