Valencia, Spurs into Europa League last 32


By Joseph Wilson ,AP

BARCELONA — Spanish sides Valencia, Sevilla and Real Betis booked their spots in the Europa League’s round of 32 on Thursday, while Tottenham locked up first place in its group with a fifth victory in as many matches.

Tottenham claimed top spot in Group K by winning 2-0 at Tromso after defender Adnan Causevic scored an own goal before Mousa Dembele put the result beyond doubt.

Valencia made sure it will finish first in Group A with a 1-0 win at Swansea thanks to an early goal from Dani Parejo. Lyon edged Betis 1-0, but both teams advanced from Group I after Rijeka drew 0-0 with Guimaraes.

“We all hoped before the game that we’d clinch qualification,” said Lyon midfielder Maxime Gonalons. “We now have to go to Guimaraes to try and claim first place.”

Sevilla also moved on from Group H even though it conceded a 90th-minute equalizer at home to Portuguese side Estoril in a 1-1 draw.

Lazio, Genk, AZ Alkmaar, POAK, Rubin Kazan, Trabzonspor, Anzhi, and Ludogorets Razgrad also qualified for the knockout rounds with one group game to go.

Beside the 24 teams to emerge from the group phase, the eight teams that finish in third place in their Champions League groups will also join the next round of Europe’s second-tier club competition.

Valencia’s Parejo put in a deflected attempt by Juan Bernat after Swansea goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel punched out a corner to grab the lead for good in the 20th minute.

Sevilla had a bright start seven minutes in when Jose Antonio Reyes sparked a lightning attack with a pass for forward Kevin Gameiro to hit on the break.