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Soccer-Cool Sevilla hold off Lyon to reach last 16
December 7, 2016 / 9:41 PM / a year ago

Soccer-Cool Sevilla hold off Lyon to reach last 16

* A goalless draw sent Sevilla into last 16

* Sevilla ended up second in Group H behind Juventus

* Lyon to play Europa League’s round of 32

* Vitolo hit the post for Sevilla, Tolisso and Valbuena struck the woodwork for OL

* Sevilla’s Gabriel Mercado picked up yellow card and will miss last-16 first leg

LYON, France, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Sevilla kept their cool to hold Olympique Lyonnais to a goalless away draw and secure their spot in the last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday.

The Spanish team, who have won the last three editions of the Europa League, came under intense pressure as Lyon needed to win by two goals to advance but ended up second in Group H with 11 points, three behind Juventus who beat Dinamo Zagreb 2-0.

Lyon, who finished third on eight points, will play in the Europa League’s round of 32 while Dinamo were eliminated from all continental competitions after failing to score a point.

Keeper Anthony Lopes, who had ear problems after having firecrackers thrown at him in a league game at Metz last weekend, started for Lyon while Samir Nasri featured in Sevilla’s starting 11, making his comeback from injury.

The hosts began brightly and in the third minute, Mathieu Valbuena’s superb attempt on the turn from just inside the box was tipped over the bar by Sergio Rico.

Sevilla had a huge opportunity in the 19th when Vitolo, after being set up by a fine through ball from Nasri, hit Lopes’s left post.

Five minutes later, it was Corentin Tolisso who hit the bar with a powerful header from Rafael’s pin-point cross.

Tolisso came close again eight minutes before the break, setting up Valbuena on the left flank for the France international to curl a shot that clipped the bar.

Defender Mouctar Diakhaby had a decent chance in the 71st but his header went just wide as Lyon continued to press in the second half.

Centre back Gabriel Mercado picked up a yellow card, meaning he will be suspended for the first leg of Sevilla’s last-16 tie.

Both teams had several big penalty shouts but all were ignored by Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson.

France forward Nabil Fekir replaced Rachid Ghezzal in the 65th but although he and fellow second-half substitutes Clement Grenier and Maxwel Cornet brought speed up front, Lyon failed to join fellow French league clubs Paris St Germain and Monaco in the first knockout round. (Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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