Sevilla survive Zenit storm to make semi-finals

FC Zenit 2-2 Sevilla FC (agg: 3-4)
Kevin Gameiro scored the decisive goal five mintues from time as the holders survived a raucous night in St Petersburg to make the final four.

Sevilla celebrate their opener in Russia
Sevilla celebrate their opener in Russia ©AFP/Getty Images

Late Kevin Gameiro goal seals semi-final place for Sevilla
Visitors stretch first-leg advantage through Carlos Bacca in sixth minute
• José Rondón and Hulk stunner bring tie level before Gameiro's strike
Sevilla's Daniel Carriço makes record-breaking 45th competition appearance
Semi-final draw takes place in Nyon from 12.00CET on Friday

Sevilla FC survived in St Petersburg as FC Zenit pushed the holders all the way until a late Kevin Gameiro goal eventually clinched their place in the last four.

Bringing a 2-1 advantage into this quarter-final second leg, the Liga visitors extended that through an early Carlos Bacca spot kick before José Rondón's equaliser and Hulk's wonder goal brought the tie level. The hosts pushed for the win but it was the Sevilla who stole it when Gameiro rifled into the corner on 85 minutes to put Unai Emery's men into the semi-final draw once again.

Zenit had recorded victories in their last three European home games without conceding while Sevilla won their last two on the road, meaning something had to give. It did – and early. Vitolo burst into the home area only to be brought down by Luís Neto and Bacca stroked the resulting penalty into the top corner in just the sixth minute. Danny brought a sharp save from Beto as André Villas-Boas's team responded before the Portuguese schemer struck the outside of the post from range on the cusp of half-time.

The Russian Premier-Liga leaders got precisely the start they needed to the second period as Beto dropped an Oleg Shatov cross directly into the path of Rondón who had the simplest of tasks to score. It was all Zenit for the next 15 minutes, Hulk crashing a thunderbolt a fraction wide and Danny seeing an effort blocked by Grzegorz Krychowiak.

Brazil ace Hulk then lit up the evening with a remarkable second for the hosts. Wide on the right and 40 metres from goal, he spotted the Sevilla keeper off his line and lifted the ball into the net via the underside of the bar in the 72nd minute. There looked only one winner at that point as Zenit piled on the pressure, forcing Beto into outstanding stops from Hulk and Rondón. However, as it had been threatening to do all evening, Sevilla's counter punch finally landed. Vitolo strode clear down the left and rolled the ball across the edge of the box to onrushing substitute Gameiro who took his time before rattling into the corner.

Top