NUSADAILY.COM -JAKARTA- Napoli failed to reverse the aggregate despite winning the second leg of the Europa League round of 32 against Granada 2–1 at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in Naples, Italy, Thursday local time (Friday WIB).
The result did not save Napoli, who were eliminated from the Europa League, while Granada qualified for the last 16 on aggregate 3–2 thanks to a 2–0 first leg win a week ago, UEFA’s official website notes.
Napoli started the second leg very well and took the lead just three minutes after half-time through Piotr Zielinski’s goal.
Starting from a quick start, Lorenzo Insigne ended it with a pass that Zielinski completed with a measured shot from outside the box into the bottom left corner of the net.
Napoli failed to maintain that lead and in the 25th minute an Angel Montoro header from Dimitri Foulquier’s cross gave Granada a 1-1 draw.
Seven minutes later Granada had a chance to turn things around but Maxime Gonalons’ shot bounced narrowly over the crossbar in a corner.
Insigne had two chances to restore Napoli’s lead, but one of his shots was still not enough to get past granada’s defensive line and the other was secured by goalkeeper Rui Silva.
The draw lasted until the break and in the 59th minute Napoli maintained their chances of progressing to the last 16 when Fabian Ruiz passed Insigne’s pass to make it 2-1.
However, Napoli still needed at least two more goals to win the round of 32 and they continued to try to galvanise granada’s defence for the rest of the time.
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No fewer than 11 attempts were conceded by Napoli, but the 2-1 scoreline or 3-2 aggregate for Granada did not change until the final whistle.
Granada will know their opponents in the round of 16 of the Europa League after the draw was made by UEFA on Friday evening. (sak)