Napoli win but go out, red-faced Arsenal lose and go through

Europa League

BERN, (Reuters) – Napoli came agonisingly close to pulling off a dramatic Europa League comeback when they won 2-0 at RB Leipzig but went out on away goals at the last 32 stage on Thursday while Arsenal got through despite an embarrassing 2-1 home defeat by Ostersund.

Borussia Dortmund snatched a late goal at Atalanta to progress with a 1-1 draw, while AC Milan and Atletico Madrid, both with three-goal leads from the away legs, completed the formality of qualifying with 1-0 wins at home on Thursday.

The evening was marred by the death of a policeman in Bilbao after rivals fans fought in the streets before the match between local side Athletic and Spartak Moscow, won 2-1 by the Russian team who still went out 4-3 on aggregate.

Arsenal had a three-goal lead from last week’s win in Sweden but were rattled when Hosam Aiesh and Ken Sema scored twice in two minutes for Ostersund midway through the first half.

The North London side were spared further humiliation, though, after Ronald Mukiibi miscued when trying to clear a cross and defender Sead Kolasinac thumped the ball into the net from close range two minutes into the second half.

Napoli lost 3-1 in last week’s first leg against Leipzig with a performance that embarrassed coach Maurizio Sarri, though he has emphasised that winning Serie A is the priority.

They restored some pride in the return as Piotr Zielinski scored from a rebound in the 33rd minute and Lorenzo Insigne turned in Jose Callejon’s cross with five minutes to go.

That set up a rousing finale and Callejon could even have won the tie in stoppage time but his shot sailed over.


Atalanta scored against Dortmund when Rafael Toloi prodded the ball home at the far post after Mattia Caldara flicked on a corner in the 11th minute to make it 3-3 on aggregate.

There were then chances at both ends until Dortmund’s Marcel Schmelzer snapped up the rebound, after Etrit Berisha failed to hold a Marco Reus shot, to put the Bundesliga side through.

Lazio striker Ciro Immobile got a hat-trick in a 5-1 win over FCSB, formerly Steaua Bucharest, after a 1-0 first-leg loss.

Russian pair Lokomotiv Moscow and Zenit St Petersburg both won at home in frigid conditions to also progress.

Igor Denisov’s first-half goal gave Lokomotiv a 1-0 win over Nice, completing a 4-2 aggregate victory, while Zenit beat Celtic 3-0 to go through 3-1 with goals from Branislav Ivanovic, Daler Kuzyaev and Aleksandr Kokorin.

Atletico Madrid, leading 4-1 from the first leg, completed their tie at home to FC Copenhagen when Kevin Gameiro’s early goal gave them a 1-0 victory and AC Milan beat Ludogorets by the same score with a Fabio Borini goal for a 4-0 aggregate win.

Dynamo Kiev, Sporting, Viktoria Plzen, Olympique Lyonnais, Olympique Marseille and Salzburg also qualified and will go into the hat for the last 16 draw which will be made today.


Only a win will do!

(ICC) The ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 has thrown up some mouth-watering clashes and it has come down to a situation where even with only four Super Sixes games left, five teams are still in the fray for those top-two spots that will give them tickets to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

Keemo Paul: I know the feeling of winning a World Cup

(ICC) Having won the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup in 2016, Keemo Paul is determined to ensure Windies qualify for next year’s senior edition after his unexpected late call-up for the qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe.

Guinness Greatest of the Streets to commence March 28

With the Georgetown and West Demerara zones completed, the Guinness ‘Greatest of the Streets’ organisers have now set their sights on the East Coast Demerara leg which is scheduled to kick-off March 28th, at the Haslington Tarmac.

CBJ Centenary Cup set for March 31 between Guyana and T/dad

As the month-long celebrations for the former President Dr. Cheddi Jagan continue, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic will stage a one off T20 match between a Guyana side and a Trinidad team on March 31.

GFF shortlists 21 locals for CFU Women’s Challenge Series

The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) has shortlisted 21 locally-based players for preparation for the upcoming Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Women’s Challenge Series Tournament, scheduled for April.


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