Sevilla reach Champions League last 16 with 2-1 win at Krasnodar


Football - Champions League - Group E - FC Krasnodar v Sevilla - Krasnodar Stadium, Krasnodar, Russia - November 24, 2020 Sevilla's Munir El Haddadi celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

KRASNODAR, Russia (Reuters) - Sevilla reached the Champions League knockout stages with two games to spare after a stoppage-time goal by Munir El Haddadi snatched a 2-1 win at Krasnodar in the Group E clash on Tuesday.

The result left Europa League holders Sevilla second in the group on 10 points from four games, behind leaders Chelsea on goal difference and nine ahead of Krasnodar and Stade Rennais.

Chelsea also made the last 16 after an added-time header from Olivier Giroud gave them a 2-1 win at Rennes.

Ivan Rakitic gave Sevilla a fourth-minute lead with a thumping first-time shot from outside the penalty area before halftime substitute Wanderson equalised in the 56th and El Haddadi netted a last-gasp winner for the visitors.

Croatian midfielder Rakitic stunned the home side with a precise strike into the bottom right corner and the visitors missed several chances in the first half to double their advantage, with El Haddadi and Diego Carlos going close.

Remy Cabella hit the post for Krasnodar and Sevilla striker Luuk De Jong volleyed over the bar at the other end early in the second half before Wanderson levelled.

The Brazilian capped a flowing move when he side-stepped a defender in the area and beat goalkeeper Tomas Vadik with a crisp shot which Jules Kounde failed to clear off the line.

With the match seemingly heading for a draw, the lively El Haddadi struck a sublime shot with his weaker right foot to beat home goalkeeper Evgeni Gorodov and send the Spanish side into the business end of Europe's premier club competition.

Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui was delighted his side reached the last 16 with games to spare.

"I'm happy with both the team's performance tonight and the fact that we managed to qualify for the knockout stages after just four games. That's especially valuable in this difficult season," he said.

His counterpart Murad Musaev rued Kranodar's lapse in concentration which allowed Sevilla to score the winner deep into stoppage time.

"We can only blame ourselves for this result. We were good but only in some parts of the game. And of course we should've played until the end of the game. It was unacceptable to concede a goal like that in the final minutes."

(Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Edititng by Ken Ferris and Toby Davis)

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