Zenit crush Dinamo Minsk in UEFA Europa League qualification round

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St. Petersburg, Aug 17 (IANS) Zenit St. Petersburg overcame a four-goal deficit as they crushed Dinamo Minsk 8-1 in the second leg to advance to the knockout stage of the UEFA Europa League qualification round with a 8-5 victory on aggregate at St. Petersburgs Petrovsky Stadium here.

Having lost the first leg in Minsk 0-4, the goals for Zenit on Thursday evening were scored by Leandro Paredes (22nd minute), Christian Noboa (66th), Artem Dzyuba (75th, 78th and 115th, penalty, Sebastian Driussi (108th) and Robert Mak (120+1penalty), 120+3).

Seidu Yahaya scored for Dinamo Minsk in the 99th minute, reports Tass news agency.

Zenit has become the second team in the history of UEFA tournaments, which managed to advance into the next round after losing their first game 0-4.

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The other such comeback was made by Spain’s Barcelona in the 2016/2017 UEFA Champions League.

Paredes and Maksim Shvyatsow received red cards and were sent off 72 and 120 minutes into the game, respectively.

Thursday’s match was played without spectators as Zenit was penalized by UEFA for the misconduct of its fans during the Round of 16 Europa League game against Germany’s Leipzig in March. During the game, fans threw flares onto the field, chanted racist slogans and blocked staircases of the stadium. Apart from accredited journalists and officials, the game at the Petrovsky Stadium was attended by about 200 fans from Minsk.

In their next games, St. Petersburg will face Norway’s Molde on August 23 and 30. The winner will advance to the group stage of the UEFA Europa League.

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–IANS

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