Sunday, 18 December 2011

Tottenham knocked out of Europa League


updated 5:30 p.m. ET Dec. 15, 2011

Tottenham was eliminated from the Europa League despite a 4-0 victory at Ireland's Shamrock Rovers on Thursday night as Rubin Kazan advanced to the knockout stage with a tie. Birmingham also was knocked out, one day after Fulham exited.

Udinese advanced to Friday's draw for the 32-team second round. Needing to avoid defeat at home against Glasgow Celtic, Udinese tied 1-1 after Antonio Di Natale equalized in first-half stoppage time. The Scottish club had led on Gary Hooper's 29th-minute goal.

Tottenham was in position to advance when leading 3-0 in Dublin while the Russians trailed 1-0 at Group A leader PAOK.

Rubin goalkeeper Sergei Ryzhikov was ejected for conceding a 16th-minute penalty kick scored by Vieirinha. But Rubin's Nelson Valdez tied the score in the 48th for a 1-1 draw.

That result made it academic when Harry Kane scored Tottenham's last goal. Steven Pienaar, Andros Townsend and Jermain Defoe had built a 3-0 halftime lead.

Tottenham reached the Champions League quarterfinals last season, but often failed to use regular starters in Europe's second-tier competition.

"We haven't not gone through for lack of trying," manager Harry Redknapp said. "It was disappointing. I want to win every game."

Redknapp also drew attention for apparently directing a gesture toward Shamrock fans who had targeted him with taunting chants for much of the match.

Hannover progressed to the final 32 by beating Vorskla 3-1 in Group B.

Brugges drew 1-1 with Braga as both progressed from Group H and edged out Birmingham, which beat Maribor 1-0. AZ Alkmaar advanced with a 1-1 draw at home against Group G winner Metalist Kharkiv. The Dutch club finished ahead of Austria Vienna, which beat last-place Malmo 2-0.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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