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FC Lugano crash out of UEFA Cup

Shakhtar's Okoronkwo (left) tackles Lugano's Magnin during the second round qualifying match Keystone

FC Lugano have crashed out of the UEFA Cup, despite a narrow 2-1 win on Tuesday over the Ukrainian side, Shakhtar Donetsk, in the second leg of their second qualifying round.

Lugano went into the match with a distinct disadvantage, having lost 3-0 to Shakhtar after the first leg played last week in the Ukraine.

Taking the results of both legs into account, Shakhtar wins the second qualifying round 4-2 on aggregate and now goes on to meet Germany’s Borussia Dortmund in the final qualifying round of the Champions League.

Tuesday night’s game started badly for Lugano, when the Nigerian striker Aghahowa chipped the ball into the Swiss side’s net after just 13 minutes of play, giving Shakhtar an early 1-0 lead.

All seemed lost throughout the remaining 30 minutes of the first half, when a dispirited Lugano missed chance after chance to level the match and put themselves back in contention.

But the side seemed rejuvenated when play resumed after the break, and the home crowd was rewarded in the 54th minute with an equaliser courtesy of Gaspoz.

Rossi responded with a goal in the 67th minute to put Lugano in the lead but still short of the necessary total to knock Shakhtar out of the contest.

If the night looked like it might be about to provide Lugano with a miracle, the referee put a stop to any such hope after refusing to allow Joel Magnin a penalty 15 minutes before the final whistle.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR