Sport Football Flat Swansea progress in Europa League

Flat Swansea progress in Europa League

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Swansea City are through to the last 32 of the Europa League despite producing a lacklustre performance in losing 1-0 to St Gallen in Switzerland on Thursday.

The Welsh side knew that a point in north-eastern Switzerland would secure their qualification for the knockout stages from Group A but instead a second-half Marco Mathys goal allowed the already-eliminated hosts to bow out on a high.

Nevertheless, the defeat did not prevent the Swans from advancing as Kuban Krasnodar failed to get the victory they required away to Valencia in Spain to stand a chance of grabbing second place.

Paraguayan Lorenzo Melgarejo scored to earn the Russians a 1-1 draw after young forward Paco Alcacer put group winners Valencia ahead at the Mestalla, but Kuban bowed out.

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup was relieved at seeing his men go through to Monday’s draw for the first knockout round after they failed to build on a promising start in Group A.

The Premier League club won their opening two matches, but took just two points from their following four games and never got a grip of Thursday’s encounter, much of which was played in thick fog.

“I’m never happy when we lose but we went through and I think in a couple of days after the draw we will feel differently,” Laudrup said.

Tottenham Hotspur, who had already qualified before hosting Anzhi Makhachkala at White Hart Lane, made it six wins from six in Group K by beating the Russians 4-1.

Spanish striker Roberto Soldado scored a hat-trick, including one penalty, while Lewis Holtby also netted with a classy finish as Andre Villas-Boas’ side ran out comfortable winners.

“It was a good standard of play. We kept the ball well, created lots of chances and it was pleasing for the fans,” said Villas-Boas.

Meanwhile, last season’s FA Cup winners Wigan Athletic were eliminated after a 2-1 defeat away to Maribor who progressed.

Former European champions PSV Eindhoven were knocked out after losing 1-0 at home to Chornomorets Odessa, a solitary Franck Dja Djedje goal taking the Ukrainians through.

Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv also qualified, finishing second in Group F after beating 10-man Bordeaux 1-0 thanks to a second-half Eran Zahavi penalty.