Napoli, Real Sociedad, Young Boys advance in Europa League
Napoli and Real Sociedad both advanced from a tightly contested Europa League group after a 1-1 draw on Thursday, with Willian José netting a crucial equalizer for the Spanish team in the 90th minute.
The result meant Napoli finished top of Group F, while Sociedad edged ahead of AZ Alkmaar into second. Alkmaar would have advanced with a win but lost 2-1 at already eliminated Rijelka.
Swiss club Young Boys also advanced with a 2-1 comeback win over Cluj after a wild finish that saw two goals and three red cards in injury time.
Norway’s Molde also made the round of 32 after a 2-2 draw with Rapid Vienna in the final round of group-stage matches.
Wolfsberg and Maccabi Tel-Aviv took the final two spots in the knockout rounds.
Premier League leader Tottenham blanked Royal Antwerp 2-0 to finish top in its group.
Already qualified with two games to spare, Arsenal made it six wins from six with a 4-2 away victory at Dundalk.
The match between Group I winner Villarreal and last-place Qarabağ was postponed after several players from the Kazakh club tested positive for the coronavirus. It was unclear whether the game would be rescheduled or whether UEFA would award a forfeit win to Villarreal.
A total of 18 clubs were already through ahead of the final games while eight more teams, including Manchester United, dropped into the last 32 as third-place finishers in their Champions League groups.
The draw for the round of 32 is scheduled for Monday.
A minute of silence was observed at the stadiums to honor Italian soccer great Paolo Rossi, who died after a long illness at the age of 64.
Napoli only needed a draw at home against Sociedad and went 1-0 up after Piotr Zieliński netted from the edge of the area with a right-foot shot after the visitors failed to clear a corner kick.
Sociedad looked to be going out but a cross into the area in injury time fell to Willian José, and he blasted a shot high into the net to send his team through.
Napoli finished with 11 points, two more than Sociedad. Alkmaar had eight.
Cluj needed to beat Young Boys to overtake the Swiss team and advance and went ahead when substitute Gabriel Debeljuh scored in the 84th m
Cluj goalkeeper Cristian Bălgrădean was given a red card and conceded a penalty at the start of injury time, allowing Young Boys to equalize.
Jean Pierre Nsame converted the spot kick — only to be sent off himself two minutes later for a reckless foul. But with Cluj throwing everything forward, substitute Gianluca Gaudino was able to net the winner in the 96th minute on a quick counterattack.
Cluj's Damjan Doković then became the third player sent off for another poor foul.
Roma remained top of Group A with 13 points despite its first defeat, 3-1, at CSKA Sofia. Young Boys was second with 10. Cluj and Sofia finished on five.
Tottenham left it until the second half to secure top spot in its group.
Gareth Bale's free kick from 30 years was tipped onto the post by goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand but Carlos Vinícius was on hand to tap in the rebound.
It was the third goal for the Brazilian in the Europa League campaign.
Tottenham’s striking duo of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min came on as substitutes on the stroke of the hour. The rejuvenated Spurs went 2-0 ahead when Kane freed Giovani Lo Celso on the right to beat Beiranvand one-on-one in the 71st.
Tottenham finished with 13 points, one more than Antwerp.
Austria’s LASK beat Ludogorets 3-1 away to finish third on 10.
ARSENAL’S OTHER SIDE
Arsenal is only in 15th place in the Premier League but was the only team to finish with a perfect six wins in the Europa League group stage.
Eddie Nketiah won the ball after putting the defense under pressure before scoring past goalkeeper Gary Rogers 12 minutes into the game. Mohamed Elneny doubled that advantage six minutes later with a fierce long-distance drive into the top corner.
Jordan Flores pulled one back for Dundalk in the first half before Joe Willock restored a two-goal advantage in the second. Substitute Folarin Balogun finished the scoring for Arsenal 10 minutes from time. Sean Hoare headed home the second for the Irish club.
Rapid Vienna needed a two-goal victory at home against Molde but the Norwegian side qualified after Magnus Wolff Eikrem scored twice in a 2-2 draw.
Arsenal won Group B with 18 points, eight more than Molde. Rapid had seven and Dundalk was pointless.
Maccabi Tel-Aviv beat Sivasspor 1-0 to finish runner-up in Group I with 11 points, trailing Villarreal by two.
Dejan Joveljić scored for Wolfsberg to secure a 1-0 victory over Feyenord and a spot in the next round.
Group K winner Dinamo Zagreb conceded a goal for the first time in the group stage in a 3-1 victory against CSKA.
Dinamo dominated Group K with 14 points. Wolfsberg was four behind.
Leon Bailey scored his fourth and fifth goal of the campaign to lead Leverkusen to a 4-0 victory over Slavia Prague and top spot in Group C.
The Bundesliga side topped the standings with 15 points, three more than its Czech opponent. Hapoel Beer-Sheva beat Nice 1-0 to finish third with six.
Rangers clinched top spot in Group D with 14 points after winning 2-0 away at Poland’s Lech. Benfica settled for second after drawing 2-2 at Standard Liège.
PSV blanked Omonoia 4-0 to finish atop Group E with 12 points. Granada was held 2-2 at PAOK to sit one point behind.
Cengiz Ünder and Harvey Barnes scored two minutes apart early in the first half in Leicester’s 2-0 win against AEK Athens to complete its campaign atop Group G with 13 points. Braga also had 13 after a 2-0 victory over Zorya Luhansk.
Jens Petter Hauge scored his fourth goal in 10 games in all competitions to secure AC Milan’s 1-0 win at 10-man Sparta Prague. Milan topped Group H with 13 points. Celtic beat Lille 3-2 to earn its first victory. Lille was second with 11.
Hoffenheim cemented first place in Group L with 16 points after a 4-1 win over Gent. Already qualified Red Star Belgrade drew 0-0 at Liberec to finish five points back.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports