Atletico, 12 others advance in Europa League

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Associated Press

Posted on November 23, 2012 at 6:01 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 23 at 6:04 AM

LONDON (AP) — Defending champion Atletico Madrid and 12 other teams advanced to the knockout stage in the Europa League on Thursday, while Liverpool must wait after conceding a stunning late equalizer to Young Boys.

Raul Garcia scored early in Atletico's 1-0 victory over Hapoel Tel Aviv, allowing the Spanish side to reach the last 32 from Group B with Viktoria Plzen.

Napoli, Lazio and wealthy Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala were among the other sides to advance, leaving five qualifying places up for grabs in the final round of games in two weeks.

Liverpool was denied a spot in the knockout stage by two superbly taken second-half goals by Young Boys, with Raul Bobadilla scoring the Swiss team's first goal with an angled volley and Elsad Zverotic clinching a draw in the 88th by smashing home a left-footer.

Joe Cole, the former England winger and forgotten man at Liverpool, made his mark in a rare appearance by setting up the opener for Jonjo Shelvey in the 33rd and then scoring himself in the 72nd.

"Conceding a late goal is disappointing," Cole said. "It was just game management at the end, to see the game out, which let us down. It was a great finish from the kid at the end, but we made it hard for ourselves. It's a lesson learned."

Liverpool, a five-time European champion, hopes to join Anzhi from Group A, but needs to beat Udinese on the road to make sure after being held to a 2-2 tie by Young Boys at Anfield.

American Terrence Boyd put Rapid Vienna ahead 2-1 when he scored in the 67th minute, his 11th goal of the season, but the visitors allowed a pair of late goals to Tarik Elyounossi and Rade Prica and lost 3-2 at Rosenborg. Fellow American Mix Diskerud got a yellow card in the 71st for the hosts.

A scoreless tie at home to Tottenham was enough to put Lazio through in Group J, on a day fans of the Italian club were suspected of involvement in a hooligan attack in Rome that led to seven Spurs fans being hospitalized.

Napoli won 2-1 at AIK Stockholm to seal a top-two spot in Group F with Dnipro, which beat PSV Eindhoven away by the same scoreline to eliminate the Dutch hosts.

Anzhi Makhachkala went through with a 2-0 home win over Udinese, courtesy of goals from Christopher Samba and Samuel Eto'o, in the group containing Liverpool.

The other clubs booking their last-32 spots on Thursday were Newcastle, Bordeaux, Fenerbahce, Borussia Moenchengladbach, Genk, Sparta Prague and Levante.

Athletic Bilbao, last season's finalist, was knocked out without even playing following the cancellation of its match against Hapoel Kiryat Shmona because of the fighting in Israel. Sparta knocked out Bilbao by drawing 1-1 at already-qualified Lyon in Group I.

The top two teams in each of the 12 groups go through, where they will be joined by the eight third-place finishers in the Champions League groups.

A penalty three minutes into stoppage time by Edinson Cavani confirmed Napoli's progress, and ensured the Uruguay forward became the final scorer at AIK's Rasundastadion home, Sweden's former national arena.

Inter Milan, Lyon, Rubin Kazan, Bayer Leverkusen, Metalist Kharkiv and Hannover advanced earlier.

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